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Aston Villa signing this 31-year-old veteran for free would be a massive coup by Dean Smith in the summer – agreed?

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Aston Villa opinion: Villans linked with Gary Hooper – Good move?

According to a report in Birmingham Mail, Championship side Aston Villa are one of the few teams linked with a summer move for Sheffield Wednesday striker Gary Hooper.

The 31-year-old’s contract runs out this summer, hence, he will be a free agent. The Sun reports that Fulham are also keeping close tabs on the player, while Celtic are in the race as well.

Aston Villa have been the most in-form team in the Championship at the moment, winning 10 of the last 11 games of the season to enter the playoffs.

However, their main striker Tammy Abraham is a loanee from Chelsea, who could return to his parent club this summer. Thus, irrespective of whether Villa get promoted to the Premier League or not, they’d need a striker ahead of next season.

Here’s why Gary Hooper may be the right man, especially for a free transfer:

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Hooper could be a good option for Smith’s men

If we look at what Gary Hooper has done at Sheffield Wednesday, it speaks of his qualities as a striker. Before he got injured in the second half of last season, the 31-year-old had decent numbers.

A return of 29 goals in 79 appearances from 2015 to 2018 is decent, considering that the Owls have been Championship strugglers for some time now.

Moreover, analysing his playing style, Hooper is more of a target-man type of striker, who likes to hold the ball up, provide knock-downs and layoffs, be present in the box when crosses are coming from wide areas and make those subtle movements to bamboozle defenders.

Aston Villa have enough players in their team who can create chances for the striker to score goals. Hooper can do likewise and prove that he is still got it, in spite of that long-term injury last year.

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It feels like a cliche that Dean Smith’s men need a striker in the summer. Signing Gary Hooper on a free transfer may not be the worst business, considering that the player can come up with the goods.