Why Aston Villa could have avoided signing Borja Baston from Swansea
According to Sky Sports, Aston Villa snapped up Borja Baston on a free transfer from Swansea City on transfer deadline day.
The Spanish striker, 27, made 21 appearances for Swansea City in the Championship this season but the South Wales club were willing to allow him to leave for free before his contract expired in the summer due to his massive wages, the report adds.
Borja Baston has signed a deal until the end of the season, with a chance to extend his stay if he is successful at Villa Park. He became Aston Villa’s fourth signing of the January transfer window, following the arrival of Mbwana Samatta, Danny Drinkwater and Pepe Reina.
The Villans are just a point above the relegation zone after losing a pivotal game to Bournemouth on Saturday. Dean Smith’s side have done well to reach the Carabao Cup final, where they’ll play Manchester City, but as far as their league campaign is concerned, they have been very poor.
Villa’s season has been hit with long-term injuries to key players such as John McGinn, Wesley Moraes and Tom Heaton. While McGinn is not due to return until mid-March at the earliest, Wesley and Heaton have sustained season-ending injuries. Smith has brought in Samatta and Reina to replace the duo respectively, with the former scoring on his debut in the 2-1 defeat to Bournemouth.
But having let go Jonathan Kodjia in January, Smith was left with Samatta and Keinan Davis as the only No.9 options in his squad. So the Villa manager added depth to his strike force by signing Borja Baston.
Baston signed for Swansea back in 2016 from Atletico Madrid but he struggled to make an impact in the Premier League. He managed just one goal in 18 Premier League appearances for the Swans during the 2016-17 season and spent two subsequent campaigns on loan with Malaga and Alaves.
The 27-year-old returned to the Liberty Stadium last summer and initially made a positive impact under Steve Cooper, scoring six goals in his first nine Championship appearances this season.
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However, Borja has looked out of sorts in the last few months, with his last goal for Swansea coming in the 1-1 draw against Reading in September. Plus, he found game time limited since the arrival of Rhian Brewster on loan from Liverpool.
Considering his struggles with Swansea, Villa have made a bad decision by signing the Spaniard. His record in English football is simply not good enough, and for a club battling relegation, they shouldn’t have taken a gamble on Baston.
All in all, Smith should have brought in a better striker to add depth to his strike force and avoided Baston’s signing.