Why Aston Villa would be wise to drop their interest in Cengiz Under
Premier League rivals Everton have also expressed an interest in the 22-year-old Turkish international, who had been heavily linked with moves to Arsenal and Tottenham this past summer. (Turkish Football h/t Birmingham Live)
Under, 22, was then valued at around £50 million by the Serie A club but that valuation has dropped drastically to just £30 million within six months, with the Turk slipping down the pecking order under Paulo Fonseca.
The highly-rated winger started his career at Altinordu in the Turkish second-tier and shot to prominence with Istanbul Basaksehir in the Super Lig before completing a move to the Italian capital with Roma back in 2017.
The 20-cap Turkish international carved out a big reputation for himself as one of the brightest young talents in the Serie A during his first couple of seasons at the Stadio Olimpico but things have gone downhill for him this term.
Under has been restricted to only a bit-part role at Roma, scoring once in seven league outings so far this season, and his significant fall in grace has put some of the Premier League clubs on red alert, with the transfer window now open.
Meanwhile, Aston Villa climbed out of the relegation zone in the Premier League with a 2-1 victory over Burnley on New Year’s Day, thanks to goals from Wesley Moraes and Jack Grealish.
Dean Smith’s side are set for a hectic schedule January, with the Villans set to face Leicester City home and away in the semi-finals of League Cup while a trip to Fulham for the FA Cup third-round tie is also expected to be a daunting challenge.
Plus, of course, Villa have Premier League fixtures against Man City, Brighton and Watford coming up before the transfer deadline on January 31, meaning that whoever comes through the door during the mid-season trading period will need to make an immediate impact.
Villa initially looked set for a quieter January window after signing as many as 12 players in the summer but long-term injuries to key players like John McGinn, Tom Heaton and Wesley in quick succession could necessitate some immediate action.
To that end, a replacement for McGinn in central midfield and a new striker to fill in the boots of Wesley should be top of the club’s transfer agenda in January. The Villans have already been linked with Chelsea duo Michy Batshuayi and Danny Drinkwater, who is expected to be recalled from his loan spell at Burnley. (Sky Sports h/t Birmingham Live)
To put things into perspective, Aston Villa need to move quickly in the transfer window to plug the voids but they don’t need to make Cengiz Under a top priority.
Notwithstanding the fact that the Turk is an immensely talented winger with loads of potential, Villa already have some decent options out wide in their ranks.
The likes of Anwar El Ghazi, Jota and Trezeguet have all done a decent job while Jack Grealish has often played in a creative wide role to complement the main striker.
Undoubtedly, Villa can certainly do with some more quality down the flanks and while Under looks capable of adding more goals to help the club in their bid for survival, the Villans need to focus more on plugging the gaping holes in other areas of the pitch.
Bringing in an able back-to to Wesley was always going to be a key piece of business in January, however, with the Brazilian now set for an extended spell on the sidelines and Jonathan Kodjia struggling to break into Smith’s plans in the Premier League, Villa might need to bring in two strikers during the mid-season window.
Beating the drop should be Aston Villa’s top priority and if they are genuinely interested in Cengiz Under, they might as well wait until the summer to make a move for him.
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That would also make it easier for the player to settle down at the club after a full pre-season, as opposed to a January switch where the pressure to start delivering the goods immediately could make it difficult for the young Turk to get to grips with the English game.