May 24, 2024

Aston Villa, who are now lying second in the Premier League with the same number of points as Liverpool but a worse goal differential, have had an incredible 2023–24 season thus far and have even found themselves in an unusual title chase.

But as evidenced by the team’s recent performances against Burnley, Manchester United, and Sheffield United, head coach Unai Emery still has work to do before the January transfer window opens.

Villa and Emery may focus on one player in particular over the next few weeks to strengthen their attacking unit in light of this.

Oscar Gloukh’s transfer to Aston Villa
Aston Villa is reportedly keeping an eye on RB Salzburg’s highly-rated diamond Oscar Gloukh ahead of the winter transfer window and may be able to sign him for between £40 and £50 million, according to a report from Football Insider in early December.

Moreover, the publication adds that although the Austrian champions are reluctant to let go of their Israeli playmaker, the team might be forced to do so because they placed last in their Champions League group and were eliminated from all European competitions.

Gloukh joined Salzburg in January for an alleged £6 million, and since then, he has been a wonderful player for the team, making 42 appearances while contributing eight goals and eight assists. In just 25 games this season, the 19-year-old has contributed 12 goals. Football scout Jacek Kulig called the 19-year-old a “jewel” for his performances for Die Roten Bullen.

Now, this gem might be making his way to Villa Park in the upcoming weeks and could be ideal for relieving Ollie Watkins and Leon Bailey of some of their offensive responsibilities.

Stats comparison between Nicolo Zaniolo and Oscar Gloukh
Nicolo Zaniolo joined Aston Villa in the summer after winning the Turkish Super Lig with Galatasaray. Of his 20 appearances for the Midlands club, only ten have come from the starting lineup, with just seven of those coming in the Premier League.

This season, Emery has favored to deploy the Italy international as an impact substitute, coming off the bench when Villa needs a goal. One such instance is his nine-minute cameo against Sheffield United during a

Zaniolo hasn’t had a permanent spot at Villa, though, having played six different positions so far this season, the most notable of which has been on the left flank and in the midfield as a number ’10’ behind the striker.

The 24-year-old hasn’t even been able to register an assist for the team while out on loan, demonstrating a lack of productivity. However, Gloukh has been far more inventive and has surpassed Zaniolo in a number of important offensive stats this year.

Gloukh, who has produced significantly more for Salzburg this season than Zaniolo, would assist relieve Watkins and Bailey of some of their creative and goal-scoring duties, as the statistics demonstrate. Under Emery, Aston Villa has contributed 105 goals in all competitions this year, with Watkins and Bailey accounting for 36% of those goals with 22 and 16 overall, respectively.

Since Moussa Diaby has only scored two goals and provided one assist in his last 13 games, Emery has been obliged to employ Bailey as a second striker, frequently using right-back Matty Cash as a right winger to make up for Diaby’s lackluster play in recent months.

Bailey could move back to the right flank and maintain a player in the front line if Gloukh was included in the starting lineup.

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