Aston Villa 'will be looking' at 'outstanding' £33m striker at Villa Park

Aston Villa head coach Steven Gerrard acknowledging the fans

Aston Villa ‘will be looking’ at Stade Reims striker Hugo Ekitike over the summer as they look to bolster their forward line, according to journalist Jacque Talbot.

The in-demand 19-year-old is widely expected to depart his boyhood club over the coming months after enjoying an impressive breakout season in 2021/22.

What is the latest news involving Ekitike?

According to Sky Sports, Newcastle United had a bid of £25 million potentially rising to £33m with add-ons accepted by Reims in January, only for the player to turn down the move.

Late interest from European giants Borussia Dortmund and Paris Saint-Germain convinced Ekitike to stay put and assess his options following the campaign’s conclusion.

And transfer guru Fabrizio Romano has provided an update on the France Under-20 international’s situation, stating that Newcastle are ‘still working’ to bring him to St. James’ Park ahead of Dortmund.

However, Villa have already beaten the Magpies to the signatures of Diego Carlos and Boubacar Kamara and could well attempt to repeat the trick with Ekitike.

What has Talbot said about Ekitike?

Talbot has revealed that Ekitike has been ‘shown around a few places’ and that he’s ‘sure’ Villa will be one of the clubs keeping close tabs on the teenager’s future.

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He told GiveMeSport: “I feel that they need to invest a little bit in sort of the youth, so to speak. Not necessarily completely ready-made, but someone who’s near enough that.

“I think they’ll look at Hugo Ekitike. I’m told that he’s been shown around a few places like PSG, Dortmund, Newcastle, and I’m sure Aston Villa and clubs like that will be looking at him as well.”

Would Ekitike be a good signing?

Ollie Watkins and Danny Ings are the only strikers currently in Steven Gerrard’s first-team squad at Villa Park, and it’s an area of the pitch the 41-year-old tactician has been tipped to strengthen.

Ekitike showcased his top-class potential in 26 league and cup appearances for Reims, registering 11 goals and four assists for the Ligue 1 outfit.

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And the 6 foot 2 ace’s underlying numbers were equally as impressive. Over the last year, he has ranked in the 99th percentile for interceptions, 97th for dribbles completed and 93rd for non-penalty goals amongst his positional peers, as per FBref.

Reporter Graeme Bailey labelled Ekitike “outstanding” in the winter and Villa supporters will surely be hoping Gerrard and co. can pull off another audacious swoop by bringing him to the club.

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