More links today, some new, some old but all for attacking players both at home and abroad. The Express & Star claim the club are keeping tabs on West Ham forward Demba Ba who is likely to leave the club if they cannot avoid relegation and joins keeper Rob Green on Villa’s supposed wish list from Upton Park, only one player I’d take from there and it’s pretty obvious who that is! They also have linked us to Polish winger Maciej Rybus in order to replace Ashley Young who most expect to be heading for pastures new. The 21-year-old plies his trade for Legia Warsaw and has been a reported interest in the past as one of his country’s hottest prospects. Finally, and undoubted the most ambitious, which may be a kind way of putting unlikely, the club are rumoured to be harbouring an interest in Real Madrid creative midfielder Esteban Granero. With Mourinho’s side having been linked to Ashley Young yesterday, a swap deal is almost certain to be touted if the rumour progresses to anything concrete.
Having only joined West Ham in January from Hoffenheim for a fee of around £2.5m, Demba Ba made an immediate impact in front of goal at the club, having come close to agreeing a deal with Stoke which was hampered due to supposed injury problems. Just weeks later he signed a deal at Upton Park and netted twice in his first start for the club as the Hammers drew 3-3 with West Brom. The Senegal striker netted in his next two games in victories against Liverpool and Stoke and looked like he could become the signing to keep Grant’s men in the Premier League. However, he then went 5 games without scoring to coincide with the side failing to win in each, including the recent 2-1 defeat to Villa. He was back on the scoresheet last weekend but was powerless to prevent a 2-1 defeat to Man City having gone down to two early goals. In 8 starts and 2 substitute appearances he has scored an impressive 5 league goals despite his side still sitting at the bottom of the league. The 25-year-old has played just 10 times for his country, netting 3 goals in the process.
Esteban Granero joined Real Madrid in the summer of 2009 from fellow La Liga side Getafe. The 23-year-old has failed to cement a place amongst the big name stars at Madrid since, starting just 12 games in all competitions this season. He has netted once in league and cup this season, setting up 3 goals in his squad player status. His first season with the club saw Granero play a much more integral role appearing for Madrid on 31 appearances in the league, including 20 starts. He notched up 3 goals and 4 assists in these games having earned a switch on the back of impressive form at Getafe. His last season for the club saw him score 5 goals in 31 starts and set up a further 4. As mentioned before, the player is likely to be linked in a swap deal for Young if the reports yesterday from the Daily Mail are to be believed, otherwise a fee of around £5m-8m could well secure his signature.
Having been linked to Polish youngster Maciej Rybus at the beginning of last month I wrote the following profile on the 21-year-old – http://astonvillablog.com/villa-in-pole-for-young-winger-rybus/. Since the stats in the earlier report, Rybus has played a further four games for Legia, scoring and assisting a goal in that short period, leading to links of a renewed interest from Villa.
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