Villa could land De Jong 2.0 in Ounahi

Aston Villa boss Unai Emery has distinguished Angers SCO midfielder Azzedine Ounahi as the perfect addition to bolster the ranks and continue the ascension in the Premier League since his arrival in October…

What’s the word?

Ounahi has been of interest to multiple clubs following his burst onto the scene with his nation, Morocco, at the 2022 World Cup in Qatar, with Italian journalist Ciro Venerato (via Sport Witness) previously stating that the player is talking to Villa, who are desperate to fortify their midfield with a signing of first-rate quality after failing to convince Juventus ace Weston McKennie to join the ranks.

And now, transfer insider Dean Jones – speaking to GIVEMESPORT – has stated that the Claret & Blue are firmly within the running to land the ace, and could make a move over the coming week, before the culmination of the January transfer window.

Jones said: “There’s just so much competition for him and it’s hard to tell at the moment whether they are going to win the race. I mean, they’ve probably got as good a chance as anyone in England; it’s just really a case of whether or not he definitely wants to come to the Premier League.”

Emery’s own De Jong

Ounahi left pundits waxing lyrical after starring for Morocco at the World Cup, with his ball-playing prowess and graceful poise swivelling the heads of many suitors, with Emery indeed among those enamoured.

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And while the 22-year-old has been at the centre of his French Ligue 1 outfit’s struggles this term – Angers languish at the very bottom of the division – his particular set of blossoming abilities should allow him to flourish among a crop of players suited to more progressive football and ambitious schemes.

The £10k-per-week ace ranks among the top 1% of midfielders in Europe’s big five leagues for dribbles completed, the top 4% for progressive passes received and the top 7% for touches in the attacking penalty area – highlighting the all-encompassing nature of his work.

And defensively, he has also earned his place; making 1.4 tackles and one interception per match in the league this term, as per Sofascore, vital in snuffing out danger and preventing further woes for his beleaguered side.

The technician”- as once lauded by James Marshment – is likened to FC Barcelona’s Frenkie de Jong on the aforementioned FBref, with the Dutch maestro flourishing as one of the 161 showings, scoring 15 goals and serving 19 assists. 

He ranks among the top 7% of positional peers for pass completion and the top 10% for dribbles completed, also in the top 12% for shot-creating actions – with Ounahi’s similar skill-set, he can mould into a formidable force under Emery’s watchful eye.

Bearing this in mind, the £26m-valued Moroccan would be a sterling addition to an outfit on the up, and Aston Villa must do everything within their power to clinch a seismic deal to serve as the catalyst for success.