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Villa Out in Front in N’Zogbia Chase

Aston Villa and new manager Alex McLeish are believed to be leading the pack in the chase to sign Wigan playmaker Charles N’Zogbia to replace the loss of star winger Ashley Young.

McLeish is a known admirer of the 25-year old Frenchman and nearly took the former Newcastle man to Birmingham before a deal fell through last year. The Scot will no doubt face stiff competition for the wide man who has been tipped with a return to his previous aforementioned club, along with the likes of Sunderland, Everton and Liverpool.

A fee for Wigan’s prized asset is likely to fetch between £8m and £10m for his club having been a key part of Roberto Martinez’s sides survival last season.

N’Zogbia is one of the league’s trickiest players and has completed almost twice as many runs at defenders than the second best in that regard of all clubs (Gareth Bale) over the past two seasons.

Last season the France international netted 9 league goals to finish as top league scorer with Hugo Rodallega for the Latics. During his 32 starts he also picked up 5 assists, 2 yellow cards and 1 red. His pass success rate of 78% is decent for a winger and is significantly higher than Ashley Young’s from last term (72%).

The midfielder completed an average of 2 key passes per game, slightly lower than Young (2.3) and Downing (2.2) though the Wigan man completed far more successful dribbles, averaging 3.2 per game, a league high, compared to Young’s 0.5 and Downing’s 0.7.

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