Why Aston Villa should sign Angers star Baptiste Santamaria
Santamaria, 24, played 40 times for the Ligue 1 side last term and has caught the attention of a number of top-flight clubs. As well as Aston Villa, West Ham, Lazio and Udinese are also believed to be interested in the Frenchman, the report adds.
Angers don’t intend to let the 24-year-old midfielder leave this summer, despite three impressive seasons with them. He is under contract until 2022, so Aston Villa should return with an improved bid to sign Santamaria.
Aston Villa have returned to the apex of English football following a three-year exile to the Championship – and they mean business. They have invested heavily over the summer to improve their squad ahead of what is going to be another competitive Premier League campaign.
Manager Dean Smith has hit the ground running as he has already sealed the likes of Matt Targett, Wesley Moraes, Douglas Luiz and Ezri Konsa.
They have been joined by Jota, Anwar El Ghazi, Tyrone Mings, Kortney Hause, Mahmoud ‘Trezeguet’ Hassan and Bjorn Engels. Without a shadow of a doubt, the Villans have enjoyed a stupidly-good summer in terms of recruitment.
And there’s certainly more to follow before next week’s transfer deadline. Dean Smith could do with another defensive midfielder after the arrival of Douglas Luiz.
The club needs a midfield destroyer after the departures of Glenn Whelan and Mile Jedinak has left the squad quite light. To put things into perspective, Baptiste Santamaria could be that player for the Premier League newbies.
Santamaria plays predominantly as a defensive midfielder but can also operate as a central midfielder. With John McGinn, Conor Hourihane and Jack Grealish already there, getting Santamaria would give Smith an even greater depth of riches to cope with the demands of the Premier League.
The Frenchman is a reliable player who excels in breaking up the play and will provide the likes of Grealish and McGinn the licensee to play with more freedom.
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A technically-gifted, mobile and combative presence at the base of the midfield, Santamaria alongside Grealish, McGinn, Hourihane and Luiz would form a diverse, young, energetic and athletic midfield.
Aston Villa must now improve their bid for Santamaria, who could be that missing link in Smith’s puzzle next term.