Aston Villa Opinion: Why the Villans sign Ismael Bennacer
The Leeds midfielder is subject to a transfer this summer, with the Villans and Tottenham are keeping close tabs. Meanwhile, the Lions have found an alternative option named Bennacer, who is having a great run in the African Cup of Nations at the moment.
In contrast, the 21-year-old endured a torrid season in the Serie A, as Empoli got relegated in the end. However, Bennacer was a cut above the rest of his teammates in terms of individual performances.
Having played for 38 matches in all competitions, the Algerian racked up 5 assists, with an average pass success percentage of 86.
In the ongoing African Cup of Nations, Benaccer played a key role for the Algerian national team to reach the finals, racking up two assists in 6 games.
Villans in need of a defensive midfielder
While Aston Villa have the likes of Conor Hourihane, the Lions should find a player who matches the attributes of Glenn Whelan, who was recently released from Villa Park.
Bennacer would be a perfect fit, given his young age and the flexibility he possesses in the middle of the park. Despite being a central defensive midfielder by trade, the former Arsenal man can also play as a central midfielder.
With dribbling skills and precise passing techniques being his major weapons, Bennacer averaged 2.6 interceptions and 1.5 tackles per game even in an insipid season in the Serie A.
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With his presence, Dean Smith can form a solid unit before their possible return to the Premier League next season. At the same time, it could enhance the stakes for Hourihane, who is five years older than Benaccer and also in great touch.
The Lions have already made a flurry of productive signings, yet the capture of Bennacer would make them a recognizable force in the upcoming season.
Their midfield strength, which includes the likes of John McGinn, Jack Grealish, Hourihane and Bennacer would cause problems for the opponents.