Aston Villa have recently shown their intention of staying firmly in the Premier League by signing five players from across Europe.
Aleksandar Tonev, Jores Okore, Leandro Bacuna, Nicklas Helenius and Antonio Luna have all been signed by Paul Lambert only a month or so after saving Villa from relegation.
For Villa fans, this direct approach to go and find players early in the transfer window shows Lambert’s intension to build his own squad, and to ensure that every player is well integrated into the squad before the season starts.
All the players that have been signed have characteristic that Lambert is looking for: young and hungry for success. And all Villa need now is an experienced player to balance the side out. And that player has been identified on and off again in Younes Belhanda.
Belhanda has everything that Lambert is looking for – he is young, experienced in terms of winning Ligue 1 with Montpellier and he holds the spark that has the potential to make this Villa side function as a fluid unit.
However, over the course of June, Belhanda has been strongly linked to Villa, but as much as he has been linked, he may as well not be linked at all.
Sources from all across Europe have been giving very inconsistent reports about the player’s intensions and his availability. Louis Nicollin, the president of Montpellier, mentioned early in June that five clubs have put bids in to acquire Belhanda’s services - and the only English side of the five was Villa.
Since then, there hasn’t been much activity apart from recent unconfirmed reports that the player has signed for Villa, or that the player has been seen in Abu Dhabi, or nothing at all.
Belhanda has made his intentions clear that he wants to play his football in England - and with Aston Villa being the only team in England said to have put a bid in for the player, the club should consider themselves beyond fortunate to be linked to one of Europe’s up and coming youngsters.
But with that being said, there is still no clear clarification that Villa have even bid for the player.
So for now, the only thing that Villa fans can do is wait and see what will happen.
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