Aston Villa: Emery could dump Tielemans for ‘phenomenal’ target of £150,000 a week

Unai Emery may already be considering options for further reinforcements in the January transfer window…


Aston Villa have made encouraging progress since Unai Emery’s arrival in October 2022, but there is still a long way to go for the Villans before their expectations are met.

In his first season at Villa Park, Emery took Steven Gerrard’s inherited team from 16th to 7th, transforming the league in the Midlands and securing Villa a place in the 2023/24 Europa Conference League.

With the former Arsenal manager steering his team firmly in the right direction, culminating in a start to the Premier League season which sees them sit just a point below the top four, the future looks bright for the Villans.

As well as improving the situation on the pitch, Emery was joined by former Sevilla colleague Monchi to orchestrate a successful summer of transfers, with five high-profile signings arriving to strengthen the squad at Villa Park.

The Spanish duo broke Villa’s transfer record and welcomed striker Moussa Diaby to the club for a fee of £51.9 million.

The highly-rated 24-year-old’s decision to join Villa shows just how far the team has progressed since the new manager arrived.

Despite a strong start to the season and strong summer recruitment, the January transfer window is fast approaching, with one name linked to Villa after rumors of him being of interest to the Midlands club during the summer market.

Aston Villa are said to be one of the teams considering Manchester City midfielder Kalvin Phillips, according to new reports.

As 90 Minutes reports, Villa are joined by West Ham United, Newcastle United and Tottenham Hotspur in monitoring the 27-year-old’s situation as he battles to secure game time for the treble winners.

It wouldn’t be the first time the Midlands side have been linked with the Englishman. The Times suggested the Villans were first to secure his signature last summer in a deal worth £60million when his future at Leeds United was called into question.

This summer, following his first season at City, rumors resurfaced when Football Insider named Villa as interested in the midfielder, saying they were undeterred by his desire to stay in Manchester.

While the reports remain pure speculation, given Villa’s previous admiration for the former Leeds dynamo, Phillips’ moves in the January transfer window could be something to watch.

After spending £45 million to welcome the Englishman to the Etihad, things have been far from easy for Phillips, despite winning Premier League, Champions League and FA Cup medals in his first season in Manchester.

The 27-year-old has had the privilege of watching history unfold at City during the 2022/23 season, watching from the bench rather than being part of it, playing just 593 minutes in all competitions throughout. throughout the season.

After catching the attention of Pep Guardiola with his impressive performances at Leeds, the midfielder had to face the harsh reality of being a sporadic player in City’s lower echelons, while those above him in the pecking order have a world-class caliber.

As a result, the Englishman’s market value fell sharply. He signed as a £45m talent and is currently only valued at €10m (£8.7m), thanks to spending his first year at City mainly on the bench .

As the European Championships approach in 2024, it is questionable whether Phillips can afford to continue in a sporadic role at the Etihad as his career progresses slowly and his real abilities are less considered.

Having spent his entire career at Leeds before moving to Manchester, there has been little discussion about Phillips’ decision to take the bold step of leaving his boyhood club.

At Elland Road, the midfielder was living the dream, playing his best for his club while earning a weekly wage of £30,000 a week, a figure which skyrocketed the more he flew the nest.

Currently, the City outsider earns £150,000 a week, more than first-team star Julian Alvarez, who earns £50,000 a week less than the Englishman.

In his first year with the Sky Blues, Phillips earned a reported £7.8 million, which is staggering considering the midfielder earned around £1.95 million per season for the four starts he made throughout the season.

There’s a lot to be said for Phillips’ mentality, but it’s a little too ambitious and borderline naive to think it’s practical to fight for a place in the team against a midfield phenom as inevitable as Rodri.

It’s unfortunate that the former Leeds player’s talent and career so far has led to him remaining on the substitutes’ bench, especially considering how different his development might have been if he had joined Villa instead of 2022. City would have changed.

He would not have received the same accolades as last season, but he would not be in the position of having to look for solutions to prevent his career from being derailed by lack of playing time.

January could be the perfect time for Villa to finally reconnect with the Englishman, who can give Emery as much as he can give back.

Rumors of possible interest in Phillips have emerged at a time when a midfield vacancy could soon open up in the team, while question marks have appeared over the future of summer signing Youri Tielemans.

The Belgian is said to have a poor relationship with Emery, as reported by Football Insider, and has already made public during his international commitment his frustration at not getting enough game time at Villa Park.

With Phillips, Emery could not only sign a replacement for the suspicious Belgian, but also an upgrade for the former Leicester City star.

Looking back at the 2021/22 season, it becomes clear why Villa were interested in the Englishman and why he was valued by Guardiola for his all-round contribution in the middle of the park.

As indicated in the table above, Phillips has much more box-to-box ability than Tielemans, based on his average defensive contribution in midfield.

This element of his game could be more useful to Emery as he prefers to deploy his midfield in a free-flowing formation, with the City ace having the ability to neutralize both the combative elements in the engine room and the players in the engine room. be a competent passer.

Hailed as ‘phenomenal’ by Fabio Capello, full of enthusiasm for the Englishman and his compatriot Declan Rice, Phillips could have the opportunity to relaunch his career at an exciting time at Villa, in a role which sees him replace Tielemans . detect. .

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