Aston Villa: Gerrard's 'ambition' could bring £27m 'leader' to Villa Park

Aston Villa head coach Steven Gerrard acknowledging the fans

Aston Villa target Sven Botman may not see the Villans as a big step down from AC Milan, says transfer insider Dean Jones.

According to reports, the Midlands club are waiting to see if the new Serie A champions sign the Dutchman as they weigh up making a move.

What is the latest news involving Botman?

As per The Telegraph, Villa are one of several sides waiting in the wings in case Botman’s switch from Lille to Milan does not happen.

Central defence looks to be an area that manager Steven Gerrard is keen to strengthen, with Burnley’s James Tarkowski also said to be of interest.

The Villans have started doing their business early, already landing Philippe Coutinho on a permanent transfer from Barcelona after his successful loan spell and Boubacar Kamara on a free transfer from Marseille.

It will now be interesting to see if they can wrap up a deal for 6 ft 5 Botman, who has been described as a “leader” by former manager Christophe Galtier.

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What has Jones said about Botman to Villa?

Despite Milan just winning the Scudetto and qualifying for the Champions League, Jones does not think Botman will view joining Villa instead of the Italian giants as a big step down.

Speaking to GIVEMESPORT, the transfer insider said: “It’ll still be a surprise if he doesn’t go to Milan. They’re Serie A title winners and they’re in the Champions League.

“It’s quite a big climb down to then suddenly end up at Aston Villa, but then again, the profile of the club’s still big, you’ve got a manager with big ambition and the sort of money on the table is going to be as good if not better.

“So while on the surface level, you think, ‘That is a big climb down’, actually, from the player’s point of view, it might not be. And, at the end of the day, the Premier League is a place that most players with high ambition want to end up.”

Why do Villa and Milan want Botman?

The £27m-rated 22-year-old is one of the most promising defenders in Europe right now.

Speaking about the Lille star back in January, the legendary Paolo Maldini, Milan’s technical director, told DAZN (via Football-Oranje): “Botman is a great player. But he’s not the only good defender in the world. And he is still owned by Lille and has a contract until 2024.”

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Dean Saunders - Aston Villa

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This season, he recorded the third-highest WhoScored rating (6.83) in Lille’s squad, while he was also in the top three for aerial duels won per game (2.3).

If Villa are presented with the chance to sign Botman this summer, then they have to take it.

Aston Villa’s 2022/23 starting XI?

The addition of Botman, alongside other reported targets, could leave Villa with an incredibly exciting starting XI for next season.

We already know Kamara has completed a move to Villa Park and Coutinho has agreed a permanent deal, while the Midlands outfit have also been linked with Gerrard’s former Liverpool team-mate Luis Suarez.

That could see Villa line up with the below XI on the first weekend of the 2022/23 season…

Potential Aston Villa XI - 2022/23
Potential Aston Villa XI – 2022/23
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