Aston Villa vs West Brom Ratings: Aston Villa Player Ratings + Reaction
Dean Smith’s rampant Aston Villa side were able to secure qualification to the final of the EFL playoffs with a game against either Derby County or Leeds United on the horizon for the Villans. They came into the tie with a 2-1 advantage but this was cut out in the first half when Craig Dawson’s looping header found the net.
After this, despite the red card shown to Chris Brunt, West Brom’s adamant defence stood strong and they managed to force the tie into extra time. Although Villa dominated possession, they were unable to find any real quality in the final third and the game was to be decided by penalties. A couple of fantastic saves by Jed Steer were backed up Tammy Abraham’s winning spot-kick to send Villa to Wembley.
Here are the Aston Villa Player Ratings:
Jed Steer 9
The former Norwich City man saved 2 spot-kicks and effectively won his team the game in the shootout.
Ahmed Elmohamady 7
The Egyptian fullback was one of Villa’s biggest attacking threats but he could’ve done better with the crosses.
Axel Tuanzebe 7
The Manchester United academy product has been a fairly solid figure at the back for Villa over the course of the campaign.
Tyrone Mings 7
The man brought in from the Vitality Stadium in order to provide cover has proved his worth once again on the night.
Neil Taylor 6
Was quite poor for massive periods in the first half but showed his quality once Villa started dominating play.
Conor Hourihane 6
Wasteful with the ball at his feet at times but brought a bit of composure into the centre of the park for Villa.
John McGinn 7
Responsible for getting Chris Brunt sent off as he was the victim of both the yellow card tackles.
Jack Grealish 7
Looked a mature player over the course of the second half and applied himself well off the ball too.
Andre Green 6
Didn’t offer too much width in the first period but burst into life in the second until he got subbed of.
Tammy Abraham 8
Was poor on the ball at times and could’ve buried of couple of his chances big stepped to score the winning penalty.
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Anwar El Ghazi 7
The Dutchman certainly wasn’t at his best against West Brom on the night but did create some positive plays.
Here’s how some thrilled Aston Villa fans reacted to this crucial win:
Wolves would commit the biggest blunder by signing this 29-year-old hitman with £16.5m release clause – Agreed?
Wolves Opinion: Why Wolves must avoid signing Salomon Rondon?
According to a report from the Daily Mail, Wolverhampton Wanderers have made an enquiry to West Brom about signing Salomon Rondon, as they look to beat Newcastle United to the Venezuelan striker.
Salomon Rondon, 29, who has enjoyed a fantastic time on loan at Newcastle, has a £16.5m buy-out clause. The Magpies boss Rafael Benitez wants to keep the centre-forward, but it remains to be seen whether owner Mike Ashley would loosen his purse strings for a player who will turn 30 later this year.
Wolves appear to be interested in the Venezuela international, who finished the season with 11 goals and seven assists for Newcastle and has one year left on his West Brom contract. Rondon certainly won’t be ready to play in the Championship, so the Baggies have to sell him this summer rather losing him for free in 2020.
That being said, should Wolves pay Rondon’s buyout clause and sign him this summer?
Rondon had a brilliant campaign at Newcastle under Benitez where he certainly surpassed the expectations of the fans.
His hold-up play and ability to link up with the likes of Ayoze Perez, Christian Atsu and others were truly fantastic. In a defensive system employed by Benitez, the 29-year-old delivered 11 goals and seven assists which by no means is a fantastic return.
But as far as Wolves are concerned, they already have their target man in Raul Jimenez. Jimenez initially joined Wolves in the summer on-loan from Benfica before making his move permanent in April for a club record fee of £30million.
The Mexican supplied with 13 goals and seven assists in his debut season in England, playing a crucial role in guiding Wolves to a top-seven finish.
After earning promotion from the Championship last season, Nuno Espirito Santo has continued his brilliant work at the Molineux. The Portuguese manager recruited smartly last summer and is expected to be backed again by the club in the transfer window.
With Europa League football a big possibility next season, the 45-year-old will be fully aware that he needs to add depth to his squad.
Nuno’s priority has to be bringing in a back-up to Jimenez for next season. Diogo Jota has performed very well alongside Jimenez up front; yet, Wolves require more firepower if they are to break into the top six in the 2019/20 campaign. And for that, Nuno must avoid signing Rondon.
£16.5million may be a bargain for a player of Rondon’s goalscoring ability in the Premier League, but Wolves, whose ambitions lie in breaking into the top-six, must ignore it.
Plus, one cannot say whether the Venezuelan will be ready for a rotational role with Jimenez or not.
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Thus, Nuno should dodge the Rondon bullet and target a different player to act as a back-up to Jimenez.
Tottenham signing this 19-year-old Championship powerhouse would be a masterstroke by Poch – Agreed?
Tottenham Opinion: Why Spurs must snap up Rekeem Harper in the summer
According to a report from the Daily Mail, Tottenham Hotspur are considering a summer swoop for West Brom starlet Rekeem Harper. They are interested in a deal for the midfielder and are considering whether or not to make a bid for him.
Rekeem Harper, 19, has burst onto the scene for West Brom in the Championship this season and has caught the attention with his performances in the middle of the park. The teenager has made 16 league appearances for the Baggies, scoring once.
In fact, he has helped the club finish fourth in the Championship table this season that gives the Albions a chance to return to the Premier League if they are able to win the playoffs.
Tottenham’s interest in Harper doesn’t come as a big surprise, as manager Mauricio Pochettino already has a reputation of nurturing young talents. Also, the matter of fact is the young central midfielder’s contract at the Hawthorns expires at the end of the season and he could move on a free transfer.
Without making a single investment in the past two transfer window, Pochettino has helped Tottenham reach the Champions League final by beating Ajax on Wednesday. It’s an incredible achievement for the north Londoners, who have been ravaged by injuries this season.
Pochettino has real quality in his squad, but what he lacks depth. He needs to invest heavily in the summer to add more quality as well as depth to the squad. One of the most important areas that need addressing is the midfield, with neither Victor Wanyama nor Eric Dier not proving their worth this season.
Harry Winks has also been in and out of the team due to injuries, while Mousa Dembele has already left the club for China in January. Moussa Sissoko has been a standout performer in the middle of the park, but there is a clear need of reinforcements in midfield over the summer.
The young Rekeem Harper would be a good addition to the Tottenham side. A talented midfielder, Harper can play anywhere across the midfield line. However, it’s as a central midfielder that the 19-year-old really flourishes, doing some of his best work in recycling possession and breaking up play.
Only time will tell if the teenager can really flourish in the Premier League but if his ability on the ball, game reading skills, mentality and physicality are anything to go by, then he should do well. He is a good passer of the ball and rarely allows an opposition player to have any time in possession. Harper gets tight with his opponent and bullies them to recover possession for his side.
Harper has the potential to have a fantastic football career. The 19-year-old has everything he needs to flourish at the highest level and a move to Spurs would do him a world of good.
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On a free transfer, the teenage midfielder would represent a lovely signing for Pochettino and Spurs.
Newcastle must orchestrate a swap deal to offload this attacker in order to keep their 17-goal hitman – Agreed?
Newcastle United Opinion: Magpies must sell Dwight Gayle in summer
According to a report from British news outlet Express & Star, Newcastle United manager Rafa Benitez has come out and stated publicly that West Bromwich Albion loanees Jacob Murphy and Dwight Gayle could still have future at St.James Park, having impressed during their respective loan spells.
While Jacob Murphy has been shipped out merely for him to gain some much-needed game-time, Dwight Gayle‘s loan deal had much more purpose and intent involved. The Englishman has impressed quite heavily during his spell with the Baggies this term.
The 28-year-old striker has scored 17 goals and assisted a further 7 from his 33 appearances in the Championship this season. His contributions towards the Baggies’ attacking play has been undeniable while the partnership that he’s managed to form with former Southampton man Jay Rodriguez has set the league on fire as well.
While his efforts in the Championship have been commendable, his Premier League figures tell a very different kind of story. His last 4 seasons have seen him play in the Championship twice and in the Premier League twice and the alarming fluctuations in his numbers are certainly cause for concern.
In the 16/17 campaign, Dwight Gayle played for Newcastle United in the EFL Championship and recorded almost unbelievable figures. He scored 23 goals from 32 appearances making him one of their most important players from that campaign.
But once they made it back to the big time, it’s as if he lost all his will to perform. His numbers in 17/18 Premier League season show that he scored just 6 goals from 35 appearances which shows that Gayle isn’t really Premier League quality.
As suggested by the report, talks have already begun between Newcastle and West Brom regarding a possible swap deal involving Gayle and Venezuelan forward Salomon Rondon, who is currently spending the season on loan at St.James’ Park from West Brom and is said to be willing to extend his stay.
Rondon has turned into a fan favourite within the Magpies faithful and that’s why Newcastle should be looking to keep him on a permanent basis. His height and physical attributes suit Newcastle’s style of play much more than the diminutive figure of Gayle.
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His 9 goals and 5 assists have all come at crucial times for Newcastle this season and if it weren’t for his goals, Newcastle could well be fighting to stay in the division at this point in time. His services to the club have been excellent and Magpies must go for this swap deal that would see Dwight Gayle leave on permanent basis.
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