Aston Villa are more likely to move players on during the current January transfer window as opposed to bringing many in.
The likes of Bertrand Traore and Calum Chambers could well move on this month having made a grand total of nine appearances combined during the 2023/24 campaign, and it could free up some of the wage bill for Unai Emery.
One player who is attracting interest and may be allowed to leave in January is striker Jhon Duran, yet this could all depend on whether Villa are able to bring in another attacking option in the coming weeks.
Jhon Duran is wanted by Chelsea
The young Colombian only joined the Midlands outfit last January, but so far this season, he has scored only four goals from 23 appearances – of which only seven have been starts – and he is a target for Chelsea.
That is according to journalist Nathan Gissing, who claims that Duran could be a short-term option for the Blues this month as they look to bolster their attacking options.
He also states that if Duran was to move this month, Villa would need a replacement lined up, especially as their attacking options remain thin.
Emery has shown interest in a few different players over the previous few weeks, but could he perhaps end Duran’s Villa career for good by making a move for AS Roma gem Paulo Dybala during the winter window?
Aston Villa’s search for new signings
According to reports in Italy (via Sport Witness), Villa have shown interest in Dybala regarding a potential move this month.
He could be a major coup for the club should they convince him that the Premier League should be the next step in his career and Emery may be able to take him to new heights.
Journalist Dean Jones discussed the potential move for the 30-year-old when speaking with GIVEMESPORT recently, saying:
“A deal for Dybala really would be sensational and obviously there will always be part of any Villa fan that would like that to happen but Emery and the recruitment team have to be very careful that if they are to pursue something like that it is for the right reasons and he fits with the philosophy and character of the side.
“He’s an unbelievable player but you would need something like that to be happening for the right reasons and his injury record definitely has to be considered. He misses so many games.”
While it would perhaps be a risky move, Dybala could certainly offer something different to the Villa attack, and it could turn into a wise move by the Spaniard should he sign him.
Paulo Dybala has shone this season
While Dybala wouldn’t be a like-for-like replacement for Duran, his ability to thrive in the number ten role could suggest that Emery may opt to play a 4-4-1-1 on a more regular basis with the Roma star operating behind Ollie Watkins.
Villa have played this formation a few times this term, and it was fairly successful as they defeated Manchester City and Arsenal in back-to-back Premier League matches. Therefore, it is something Emery should ponder moving forward.
Paulo Dybala’s Serie A statistics since joining Roma
Key passes per game
Big chances created
Shots per game
This season for the Italian side, Dybala has scored six goals and registered six assists in just 18 matches across all competitions as he looks to build on last season’s impressive tally of 26 goal contributions for the Serie A side.
The forward not only ranks first among the squad for goals and assists in the top flight this season (11), but he also ranks first for big chances created (four), key passes per game (2.1) and successful dribbles per game (1.2), proving to be one of Roma’s most dangerous threats in the final third.
What Paulo Dybala can offer Aston Villa
The former Juventus dynamo would shine operating in a number ten role at Villa, which would allow him to create plenty of chances for Watkins while also chipping in with some goals himself like he has done this season.
Over the course of his career, the 30-year-old has scored 169 goals in 451 senior matches and this works out at around a goal every 2.6 games, which is an impressive goal ratio.
It proves that he can still contribute effectively from an advanced midfield position and, according to WhoScored, Dybala’s strengths are holding onto the ball, key passes and finishing, which ensures that he not only excels at scoring, but can also link the play well with other players in the team
Football talent scout Jacek Kulig previously described the attacking midfielder as having a “left foot made of gold” and his creative talents could give Villa some much-needed attacking dynamism during the final few months of the season.
Of course, Watkins has shone this term – scoring 14 times – and remains their biggest threat in front of goal, yet if he were to suffer a serious injury, Emery would find it difficult to replace him.
In Dybala, they would have a player who could play just off of Watkins, or even stand in for him should the games come thick and fast.
The only real concern would be his past injury issues, which have seen him miss 31 matches for Roma since joining them in the summer of 2022.
Injury problems have plagued the Argentinian throughout his career, especially during his spell with Juventus, where he missed 75 matches during his time with the Italian giants and this meant he could not secure a consistent place in the starting XI.
NSWE make Aston Villa move to sign £115,000-a-week forward Paulo Dybala
He could be a blockbuster signing for Aston Villa…
If Emery can manage to keep him fit and healthy should he make the move to Villa, they would have a class act in their squad who could change games on his own and this could be crucial as they chase their first major trophy for 28 years.
The next couple of weeks are going to be very interesting indeed, and it could make or break their season potentially, esepcially if they are unable to bring in the required players needed to add some much-needed depth to their squad ahead of an important few months.