Aston Villa Transfer News: Dean Smith's major u-turn over 10-goal attacker

Aston Villa manager Dean Smith looking focused

Roma are interested in signing Aston Villa winger Anwar El Ghazi, as reported by Football Insider.

What's the latest transfer news involving El Ghazi?

The Italian club have reportedly launched a bid to sign the Dutch international who has spent the last three years at Villa Park.

It is understood that Villa manager Dean Smith is willing to listen to offers for the 26-year-old, although it is expected to take more than £10m for the Premier League outfit to allow El Ghazi to leave.

Has Smith changed his stance on letting El Ghazi go?

It seems that way.

The 50-year-old had previously blocked the possibility of El Ghazi moving clubs this summer after Trezeguet picked up a serious knee injury in April which is set to keep him sidelined for much of next season.

However, with Villa now closing in on signing multiple wingers in the current transfer window, Smith appears to have performed a u-turn, meaning that El Ghazi could now depart the Midlands this summer.

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What were El Ghazi's stats in 2020/21?

El Ghazi, who earns £38,000-per-weekfeatured in 28 league games for Villa last season, netting 10 goals in these matches. Only Ollie Watkins (14) found the target more often for the Villans (via WhoScored). 

He finished the campaign particularly strongly, scoring four times in his last seven appearances, with his strikes against Everton and Chelsea proving to be the winning goals in both contests.

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Is Smith making the right decision?

Given that El Ghazi chipped in with some important goals in 2020/21 it could be argued that Smith might be making a mistake by giving his blessing for Villa to sell him.

On the other hand, the club have already taken significant steps to replace El Ghazi. They signed Emiliano Buendia from Norwich last month, and they have been heavily linked with two further wide players recently.

Villa are in advanced talks with another Norwich player, Todd Cantwell, while Leon Bailey is also a player of interest, although it has been claimed that the club have already had a £30m bid for the 23-year-old turned down by Bundesliga side Bayer Leverkusen.

El Ghazi clearly had some bright moments last term but he only ended the campaign as Villa's 11th-best performer, according to WhoScored ratings. This highlights how he is not irreplaceable, and by going after Cantwell and Bailey it seems that Villa could be stacked in this position moving into 2021/22, which could leave El Ghazi surplus to requirements.

Given that he has now entered the final two years of his contract, it appears that now is the right time to bid farewell to El Ghazi.

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