Emery can land Aston Villa’s next Abraham in move for £40m gem

Aston Villa are closing in on making their first signing of the January transfer window as defender Kosta Nedeljkovic is set to join from Crvena Zvezda for an initial fee of £6.5m, although he will play for the Serbian side until the summer before arriving at Villa Parl.

While not the marquee name supporters expect, it shows that Unai Emery is building for the future and exploring markets which may prove to be lucrative for the Midlands side.


With just under two weeks to go before the winter window closes, the Spaniard will be keen on adding a player or two that could improve his starting XI and the club have been linked with a few names of late.

Much will depend on whether he can move a few players out the door firstly, in order to free up some space.

It is clear that the former Arsenal boss needs to add another attacking option to his squad and a current Premier League striker is the latest name to be linked with a move to Villa…

Aston Villa’s search for a striker

According to the Evening Standard, Chelsea are open to selling forward Armando Broja this month, with Villa one of the teams who are showing interest in the Albanian.

They are not the only club keen on the player, however, as Wolverhampton Wanderers, West Ham United and Fulham are all battling it out to see who can secure his services and thus bolster their attacking options in the process.


Broja has been valued by the Stamford Bridge side at around £50m, yet the clubs chasing him value him between £30m-£40m and this may be a slightly more accurate representation of his abilities.

Villa’s interest depends on whether they move on Jhon Duran – either this month or during the summer transfer window – and the Blues are reportedly keen on bringing him to London.

Could the next couple of weeks see a transfer merry-go-round occur between Villa and Chelsea? Only time will tell.

If the Midlands side do lure Broja north, he could be their next Tammy Abraham and it could be a wise move.


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Tammy Abraham shone for Villa during his loan spell

The English striker made the move to Villa in the summer of 2018 on a season-long loan deal as he looked to give the club the required firepower to end their stay in the Championship.

He said upon his arrival: “Aston Villa are a big club that belongs in the Premier League and I’m here to help them achieve that.”

The centre-forward certainly played his part. Across 40 games for the club, he netted 26 goals, which included one in the playoff semi-final against West Bromwich Albion, and he led Villa back to the promised land of the Premier League.

His clinical nature in the penalty area led him to become a favourite among the supporters during his temporary spell, despite having to return to Chelsea at the end of the season.

Emery could land Villa their next Abraham should they convince Broja that a move to Villa is the best step for his career and if he can replicate the form he displayed during a loan spell at Southampton in 2021/22, it would be an excellent move.

Armando Broja shone for Southampton

Following a successful loan spell at Dutch side Vitesse Arnhem throughout the 2020/21 campaign, netting 11 goals in all competitions, the Blues wanted him to gain some experience closer to him.

A move to the Saints followed ahead of 2021/22 and throughout the whole season, Broja adapted well to the top flight, scoring six goals for the club (nine in total) and he looked like he would only get better with more game time.

Armando Broja in the Premier League












Shots on target per game




Successful dribbles per game




Goal frequency (minutes)




Stats via Sofascore

During that campaign, the youngster ranked third among the squad for goals and assists in the Premier League (six) along with ranking fourth for successful dribbles per game (one) and third for shots on target per game (0.7), suggesting that he was among one of their finer attacking options.

His recent spell back at Chelsea has not been the most productive and a fresh start could give him the confidence to return to the levels he displayed on the south coast a few seasons ago.

What Armando Broja can offer Aston Villa

Hailed as a “clinical finisher” by talent scout Jacek Kulig upon his arrival at Southampton, there is no doubting his prowess in the opposition penalty area.

A serious knee injury has disrupted any progress he was looking to make at the Blues, however, as he has played only 35 matches since the beginning of the 2022/23 campaign, scoring just three goals in the process.

While he would not displace Ollie Watkins should he move to Villa, Emery tends to operate with a 4-4-2 formation and this could lead to Broja being slotted in alongside the Englishman.


According to WhoScored, the 22-year-old striker tends to dribble a lot and possesses a counter-attacking threat along with making a lot of short passes and this could see him link up well with Watkins should the duo play together.

Not only that, but when compared to positional peers in similar leagues, Broja currently ranks in the top 4% for successful take-ons per 90 (2.58), the top 6% for touches in the attacking penalty area per 90 (6.94) and the top 1% for pass completion percentage per 90 (88.3%) which indicates how impressive he has been across a range of metrics, despite his limited time on the pitch.

These attributes would certainly benefit Watkins and it would give Emery another reliable attacking option heading into an important few months for the club.

The Midlands outfit have an ideal chance to end a trophy drought stretching back to 1996 between now and May and adding a couple of quality players to their team this month is vital.

Broja may not be in the best of form this season, but as Emery has proven, he can get a tune out just about anyone and he could sign Villa’s next Abraham by luring the youngster from the Blues in the next week or so.

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