Why Aston Villa should complete a £10m deal for Jed Wallace in January
According to the Birmingham Live (h/t Daily Express), Aston Villa have been credited with an interest in Millwall winger Jed Wallace, with Dean Smith preparing to bolster his attacking ranks when the transfer window reopens in January.
The 25-year-old winger is out of contract at Millwall next summer but the Lions are expected to demand a fee of around £10million if the potential suitors do come calling for his services during the mid-season trading period in January. (Birmingham Mail h/t Daily Express via HITC)
Wallace spent time in the academies of Carshalton Athletic, Farnborough, Lewes and Portsmouth earlier in his career before graduating and turning professional with Pompey during the 2012-13 season.
The versatile former England U-19 international scored 30 times in 121 appearances over the course of his four-year stint at Fratton Park, proving his worth in League One and League Two before earning a move to Wolverhampton Wanderers in the Championship in the summer of 2015.
The Reading-born star, though, struggled to make a big impact at Wolves and spent time on loan at Millwall during each of his two seasons at Molineux before completing a permanent transfer to The Den on a three-year deal back in the summer of 2017.
Wallace contributed with 6 goals and 9 assists in the 2017-18 campaign as Millwall narrowly fell short of a playoff spot in the Championship and followed it up with 5 goals and 2 assists last term to steer the Lions clear of the relegation zone in the second tier.
However, the 25-year-old has taken some significant strides towards fulfilling his potential at The Den this term and looks well on course to improve on his previous goal tally from the previous campaigns.
Wallace has clocked up 7 goals and 4 assists in just 17 appearances for Millwall and his red-hot form has put him on the radar of Aston Villa, who are looking to bolster their squad further in January even after spending a fortune in the summer following their promotion to the Premier League.
To put things into perspective, Jed Wallace is currently enjoying life at The Den under Gary Rowett and Aston Villa getting their hands on the in-form Championship star during the mid-season trading period could well go a long way towards preserving their status as a Premier League club.
The Villans currently sit 15th in the standings, one point clear of the drop zone following after their 2-1 loss to Chelsea, and one does get the feeling that they will need to enjoy a good run in the second half of the campaign to ensure safety in the Premier League.
A return of 22 goals in 14 games looks quite decent on paper for any mid-table PL outfit and Dean Smith should be happy with the fact that his team hasn’t relied on one particular player to deliver the goals and the assists week in, week out.
Wesley, Anwar El Ghazi, Jack Grealish and several others have all risen to the occasion to chip in with valuable goal contributions so far and notwithstanding the fact that the wide attacking cavalry of El Ghazi, Trezeguet and Jota have done pretty well, Villa can certainly do with an in-form player like Jed Wallace in their ranks.
That the 25-year-old has registered such impressive numbers in a rather mediocre Millwall side in the Championship speaks volumes of his abilities. Though Wallace hasn’t played in the Premier League before, the stage looks set for him to make the step up to the top-flight and help the Villans in their bid for survival.
As per whoscored, Wallace averages 2.2 tackles, 2.2 shots, 1.9 key passes, 2.2 dribbles, 1.6 crosses and 1.7 long balls per game this season, figures which lie testament to his proficiency in taking on defenders, work rate, eye for goal, as well as creativity and crossing ability from the wide areas of the pitch to set up goals.
A closer look at the numbers reveals that Wallace has managed to keep 16 out of his 37 attempts on target while coming out on top on 37 occasions out of a possible 64 in terms of dribbles completed.
Indeed, those stats make for some impressive reading on paper and Millwall’s asking price of £10million certainly looks justified for a player who has racked up some eye-watering displays in the Championship this season.
More Aston Villa News
- Why Aston Villa should quickly snap up free agent Romain Alessandrini
- Why Jack Marriott would be a smart signing for Aston Villa
- Why Aston Villa must go all out to sign Aleksandar Mitrovic in January
All in all, Aston Villa’s links with Jed Wallace certainly makes a lot of sense and this looks like a move that could pay off handsomely for them moving forward.