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Aston Villa looking to offload their £9m signing – Should Smith decide against doing so?

Bjorn Engels could leave Aston Villa this summer (Getty Images)
Bjorn Engels could leave Aston Villa this summer (Getty Images)

Why Aston Villa should keep hold of Bjorn Engels

According to Daily Mail, Aston Villa are looking to sell defender Bjorn Engels ahead of the new campaign in a bid to ready cash.

The report suggests that Villa boss Dean Smith is looking for a squad-overhaul ahead this summer and has his eyes fixed on signing another striker. And for that to happen, Engels is one among many heading to the exit door.

Bjorn Engels could leave Aston Villa this summer (Getty Images)
Bjorn Engels could leave Aston Villa this summer (Getty Images)

Profile

Born in Belgium, Engels started his journey with Lembeke and Lokeren before rising through the ranks of Club Brugge’s youth system. He spent four years with Brugge and made 97 appearances before joining Olympiacos in August 2017.

After a year with the Greek giants, he was signed by Reims initially on loan before making the switch permanent last summer. But Villa snatched him for £9m just a few days after the French outfit confirmed his signing.

He started the last season impressively but an injury hampered his progress and he was left out of the squad in the second half of the campaign. He made just 19 appearances across all competitions last season.

Bjorn Engels (L) saw limited game time under Dean Smith last season (Getty Images)
Bjorn Engels (L) saw limited game time under Dean Smith last season (Getty Images)

Engels could help Villa maintain their depth

At the moment, only four centre-backs are available at Smith’s disposal. Tyrone Mings is a key player for the Villans at the back and he has been impressive despite the club’s poor run of form last season. Ezri Konsa was also a regular member under Smith last season and Kourtney Hause featured in 18 league games.

The manager went with a three-man central defence for the majority of the last season and though the defensive unit was not at its best, they managed to get the job done by securing their top-flight status.

However, apart from the three, Engels is the only option available. Villa are yet to bring in a new centre-back in the on-going transfer window. And keeping hold of Engels would prove to be a boon if they fail to bring in a central defender.

Bjorn Engels (R) in action against Manchester City (Getty Images)
Bjorn Engels (R) in action against Manchester City (Getty Images)

The Belgian was not at his last season but keeping him would help them maintain squad depth. Moreover, it wouldn’t be easy for the three main defenders to feature in every game next season. It would also become impossible for the manager to rotate his squad if they decide to sell Engels this summer.

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Verdict

With limited options at the back, selling Engels could go wrong for the club if any of the main defenders get injured or need rest. Engels could be a perfect backup for them and the manager should be able to get the best out of him. Thus, they should avoid any exit for the Belgian and keep him for a few more years.

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