Why Aston Villa should complete a move for Adrien Tameze in January
The Lions are on the lookout for a new central midfielder following John McGinn’s ankle fracture in the 3-1 defeat to Southampton last weekend and manager Dean Smith has identified Tameze as a potential option to replace the influential Scotsman in the second half of the season. (Telegraph h/t Birmingham Live)
McGinn, who started each of Villa’s first 18 games in the Premier League this season and chipped in with 3 goals and 2 assists, has been one of the standout performers at Villa Park this term. The news of his absence in the coming months comes as a massive blow to the club’s hopes of survival in the top-flight.
Villa will need to fend off interest from Premier League rivals Burnley and Southampton in their pursuit of the 25-year-old Ligue 1 star, who could be sanctioned a loan departure by Nice manager Patrick Vieira when the transfer window reopens in January. (Telegraph h/t Birmingham Live)
Born in France to parents of Cameroonian descent, Adrien Tameze rose through the youth ranks of Nancy and made a name for himself at Valenciennes in the second-tier before earning a move to the top-flight with Nice back in 2017.
The 25-year-old central midfielder, who previously featured for France at U17 and U18 levels, has clocked up 85 appearances for Nice across all competitions, scoring twice and laying on a further six assists in the process.
Meanwhile, Aston Villa failed to build on their 1-0 Boxing Day victory over relegation rivals Norwich City as the Lions collapsed to a 3-0 defeat at the hands of Watford this weekend.
Villa currently sit 18th in the standings in the relegation zone, just a point adrift of West Ham, although the Hammers have a game in hand to widen the gap.
Well, if avoiding relegation wasn’t going to be tough anyways for Villa, it’s certainly going to be a lot harder for Smith’s side now, given that McGinn is expected to miss the remainder of the campaign due to his ankle fracture.
McGinn was one of the key cogs in Villa’s wheel during their promotion-winning campaign in the Championship last term and the Scottish international’s seamless transition to the Premier League this season, coupled with his well-rounded qualities at both ends of the pitch, provided that much-needed dynamism and X-Factor to the club’s midfield cavalry.
However, with McGinn now out of the mix, Villa will need to beef up their options in the middle of the park when the transfer window reopens in January. A back-up to Wesley Moraes in front of goal remains a top priority for the club but a replacement for the influential midfielder could also be on Smith’s agenda.
Jack Grealish continues to be an indispensable component of the club’s creative force, and notwithstanding the fact that the likes of Marvelous Nakamba, Douglas Luiz and Conor Hourihane have all done a decent job, a replacement for McGinn is quite understandably a necessity.
To put things into perspective, Adrien Tameze doesn’t seem to have the creativity in his game to fill in the shoes of McGinn but the Frenchman could still be a handy acquisition on loan for Villa in January.
As per whoscored, Tameze boasts of a pass success rate of 86.3, including 0.9 key passes, 8.0 tackles, 0.9 interceptions and 1 long ball per game in Ligue 1 this term, figures which are nowhere near McGinn’s average of 1.5 key passes, 2.5 tackles, 0.6 crosses and 3.5 long balls per game in the Premier League.
To that end, however, central midfield is one area where a lot of depth will be required in the second half of the campaign, with fixtures set to come thick and fast in the coming months. Hence, a loan deal for Tameze would make sure that Villa have enough depth in their ranks to cope with such challenges.
Bringing in an ideal like-for-like replacement for McGinn in January would cost the club a fortune and with reinforcements further up the pitch also a necessity, the Villans could risk falling foul of the FFP regulations, having already forked out millions of pounds in the summer.
The Frenchman is neither anywhere near McGinn’s quality nor does he have the CV to come through the door as an upgrade on Villa’s regular midfield options, but Tameze’s industry and work-rate in the middle of the park could prove to be an asset to the Villans.
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Having said that, Aston Villa completing a loan deal for Adrien Tameze in January could be a decent piece of business if not an overwhelming one.