Why Aston Villa should sign Mohamed Diame instead of Isaac Hayden
According to a report from the Daily Mirror, Aston Villa are interested in signing Newcastle United midfielder Isaac Hayden.
Isaac Hayden, 23, joined Newcastle from Arsenal in 2016 and played a key role in the club’s promotion to the Premier League in 2017. However, the midfielder has been looking to leave the club since the end of last season due to family reasons.
The report adds that Aston Villa remain keen on Isaac Hayden but Newcastle boss Rafael Benitez is reluctant to let him go. With Benitez hellbent on keeping Hayden at Tyneside, Aston Villa must shift their focus from the former Arsenal trainee to Mohamed Diame.
Mohamed Diame, 31, has been more of a miss than hit this season for the Magpies, chalking up 21 Premier League games but with neither an assist nor a goal so far.
The Senegalese is known for his energy, work rate and defensive duties, something that makes him a regular starter under Benitez. But he has been sloppy in possession and has constantly failed to perform his defensive duties which he is best known for in the middle of the park.
Although Mohamed Diame has slowed down considerably in a couple of years and doesn’t look like a Premier League material anymore, he still could be a valuable option to have in the squad for a Championship team. Aston Villa should go all out to get the 31-year-old on board.
Aston Villa’s Achilles heel has been their defence for the last couple of seasons, with neither former manager Steve Bruce nor current boss Dean Smith getting a solution. While Villa’s defence remains fragile, the fact is that the holding midfielders have constantly underperformed this season, which has led to the team leaking goals every weekend.
It’s time for Smith to be ruthless in his approach and offload the likes of Mile Jedinak and Glenn Whelan from the books. Both Jedinak and Whelan have struggled this season, with the duo out of contract in the summer.
For providing extra security to Villa’s defence and balance to midfield, a player like Mohamed Diame would be perfect for Smith. Diame possesses the ability to break attacks with tackles and interceptions, and would also be a good anchor in the midfield.
The former Senegal international is not renowned for his passing but he makes up with his industry and energy.
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Smith’s side need a combative figure in front of the back four and Diame fits the bill. At 31, Diame won’t get better but he will at least improve Villa’s midfield options and certainly increase the Midlands club’s chances of promotion.