Aston Villa could follow up Kamara move with £15m star at Villa Park

Aston Villa manager Steven Gerrard

Aston Villa could target Marseille defender Duje Caleta-Car after confirming the signing of his teammate Boubacar Kamara, according to Daily Express journalist Ryan Taylor.

The Midlands outfit announced the imminent arrival of Kamara just a day after the Premier League season has ended with the 22-year-old joining on a free transfer when his contract expires next month.

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According to Football Insider, Villa are ‘prioritising the capture of a dominant centre-back’ over the summer as manager Steven Gerrard looks to bolster his flaky backline.

And the same outlet claimed that the 41-year-old tactician was in attendance at the Stade Velodrome last month to watch Marseille take on Nantes in their Ligue 1 clash.

Gerrard was said to be scouting Caleta-Car ahead of a potential swoop for the central defender, who was the subject of interest from West Ham United in January.

The Daily Mail revealed that the Hammers had a bid rejected for the Croatia international after proposing a six-month loan deal that included an option to buy.

It’s believed that Marseille value Caleta-Car at £15 million and were only interested in letting him depart the club on a permanent basis, but with just 12 months now remaining on his contract, that price tag may have dropped.

What has Taylor said about Caleta-Car?

When asked if the likes of James Tarkowski, Joe Gomez and Maxence Lacroix are likely to be among Gerrard’s top targets, Taylor confirmed they ‘definitely’ would but also threw Caleta-Car’s name into the mix.

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He told GiveMeSport: “Yeah, definitely. I think Marseille’s Duje Caleta-Car as well.

“He was one of the players Gerrard was watching when he was pictured at the Velodrome recently; went to watch Marseille versus Nantes. I think Villa are quite clear in what they’re trying to do.”

Would Caleta-Car be a good signing?

With Ezri Konsa ruled out for 16 weeks after suffering a knee injury against Crystal Palace, Villa’s need for reinforcements at the heart of defence was heightened in the closing stages of the campaign.

And Caleta-Car could be an ideal replacement for the stricken Konsa.

The 6 foot 4 ace has ranked in the 93rd percentile for pass competition and the 93rd for progressive carries amongst players in his position over the last year, as per FBref.

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Meanwhile, Caleta-Car has also won 1.3 aerial duels while averaging 2.1 clearances, placing him in the top two compared to his teammates for each metric, as per WhoScored.

These figures showcase Caleta-Car’s ability to do the basics and carry out the duties expected of a modern-day defender, highlighting why Gerrard is so keen to bring him to Villa Park.  

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