Aston Villa opinion: The Villans should go all out for Baptiste Santamaria
According to Manu Lonjon (h/t France Football), newly-promoted Aston Villa are interested in Angers midfielder Baptiste Santamaria.
The Frenchman, 24, impressed last season for Angers in the Ligue 1, making 38 appearances and scoring a goal. He was key to the French side’s solid season, as they finished 13th in the Ligue 1, a comfortable 12 points above the relegation zone.
There is no indication as to how much Baptiste Santamaria would cost, but considering his importance to the team and three years left on his current deal, Angers could be reluctant to let him go.
That means Aston Villa will have to fork out some really good cash to lure the French midfielder this summer.
The Villans have already made their presence felt in the summer transfer window, signing as many as four players – Jota, Anwar El Ghazi, Kortney Hause and Wesley Moraes.
Dean Smith knows the challenge that lies ahead of him, as the Midlands club prepare for life in the Premier League in the upcoming season.
One of the areas where Smith is looking to strengthen is the central midfield region, having released the likes of experienced pros Mile Jedinak and Glenn Whelan. To fill the void left by Jedinak and Whelan, Villa could do well to sign Santamaria from Angers.
A defensive midfielder by trade, Santamaria is an absolute workhorse, known for his astute understanding of the game, tackling and interception skills.
He likes to sit in front of the back four, break down the opposition plays and initiate attacks with good passes and crosses. The Frenchman is a willing runner and his energy helps him cover a lot of ground.
The 24-year-old can control the tempo of the game from the base of the midfield and his presence gives the creative players more freedom to cause the damage in the final third.
A technically-gifted operator, Santamaria would allow the likes of John McGinn and Jack Grealish more space in the midfield to create goalscoring opportunities for the forwards.
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The Saint-Doulchard-born star has the technique, physicality, discipline and determination to succeed in the Premier League as well as in Smith’s system at Villa Park.
Without any second thoughts, Aston Villa must splash the cash to sign Santamaria from Angers. He could turn out to be one of the most inspired additions for the newly-promoted Premier League outfit.