Aston Villa Opinion: Ashley Williams would be a big transfer blunder for the Lions
The same report claims that the 34-year-old Welsh international, who has spent time on loan at Stoke City in the Championship, has also attracted interest from Major League Soccer clubs New York City and DC United.
Williams has made a total of 33 appearances in the Championship for the Potters this season but Everton are highly unlikely to offer him a new contract, with his current contract at Goodison Park set to expire at the end of the current campaign.
The 34-year-old made a whopping 352 appearances for Swansea City from 2008 to 2016 before making a £12million move to Goodison Park where he played an important role in his first two seasons. However, he was deemed surplus to the demands by new manager Marco Silva last summer and it looks as if his time in the English top-flight has come to an end.
Meanwhile, Aston Villa played out a 1-1 draw against Leeds United in the Championship last Sunday, as the Lions confirmed their participation in the promotion-playoffs irrespective of what happens in their final game against already-promoted Norwich City.
Securing a playoff spot looked like a distant dream for Dean Smith’s side late last year but a complete turnaround of fortunes since the turn of the year has given the Lions a chance to make a much-anticipated return to the Premier League.
Villa’s porous and vulnerable backline proved to be a major Achilles Heel in their promotion-push earlier in the season but the arrival of Tyrone Mings and Kortney Hause on loan from Bournemouth and Wolves respectively have helped them shore things up defensively.
Man United loanee Axel Tuanzebe has also an influential presence at the back, while Tommy Elphick has also looked pretty solid after returning from his loan spell at Hull City.
To put things into perspective, Aston Villa’s links with Ashley Williams goes against all logic and reason, particularly after enjoying such a good run defensively since the turn of the year.
The 34-year-old was once amongst the best defenders in the Premier League but he doesn’t have the same reflexes any longer to play in the top-flight. Even if Villa do not manage to secure promotion through the playoffs, the Welshman would have plenty to prove at Villa Park in the Championship next season.
Instead, Aston Villa should prioritise the signing of Hause and Mings permanently at the end of the season, as both of them are versatile defenders who can play at full-back and centre-back.
Also, Williams, 34, would hardly be an upgrade on Villa’s existing defensive options. James Chester and Tommy Elphick are both very experienced centre-backs, who are still very much in their prime and more than capable of playing a significant role at the highest level. Hence, it is difficult to see how someone like Williams would fit in at Villa Park.
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To conclude, Ashley Williams is clearly past his prime and Villa should avoid pursuing interest in such underwhelming signings if they are really serious about regaining their lost glory.