With Morgan Sanson officially through the door at Aston Villa, the midfield options available to Dean Smith look plentiful.
Alongside the likes of John McGinn, Douglas Luiz and Ross Barkley, the £16m arrival strengthens an already well-stocked midfield, with Villa still in contention for pushing towards the Europa League spots.
Following the signing, The Athletic have revealed some further insight into goings-on behind the scenes at Villa Park.
They claim that the signing was a way of getting a headstart in the summer window.
With Sanson reportedly valued at £30m, doing the deal now may have saved the club a lot of money, particularly given both Ross Barkley (loan return) and Douglas Luiz (Manchester City have a buy-back clause) may not be around long-term.
Indeed, it is believed Smith, CEO Christian Purslow and sporting director Johan Lange will only commit to spending if they all agree it is right for the club, with any transfer activity discussed at length.
GIVEMESPORT's Jonathan Gorrie says...
Seemingly getting Sanson for around half his value, Villa may have protected their own future with his signing.
Should Luiz and Barkley not be playing for them next season, Sanson does look a natural replacement, even if an ideal world would see them all stay, particularly if Villa do qualify for Europe.
According to Transfermarkt, Sanson is able to operate in both an attacking, central and defensive midfield role, providing cover and competition in equal measure across the engine room.
Using his WhoScored data from last season, his ability to perform either going forward or backward is obvious. Attacking-wise, his average of 1.4 key passes, 1.1 shots and 1.5 dribbles per game would see him rank fourth, eighth and joint-second in the current Villa team respectively.
Meanwhile, the 2.2 tackles and 0.9 interceptions he amassed over the same period would rank him as joint-second and joint-sixth in Smith's side, so his previous exploits suggest he can make an impact.
With that in mind, getting him reasonably cheaper ahead of other suitors will surely save Villa a headache in the summer.News Now - Sport News