Aston Villa signing this 197-goal veteran star on a free transfer would be a fantastic coup

TURIN, ITALY - MAY 19: Mario Mandzukic of Juventus celebrates after scoring the equalizing goal during the Serie A match between Juventus and Atalanta BC on May 19, 2019 in Turin, Italy. (Photo by Tullio M. Puglia/Getty Images)

Why Aston Villa should go ahead and sign Mario Mandzukic

According to reputed football journalist Fabrizio Romano (h/t Birmingham Live), Aston Villa were in talks with Mario Mandzukic over a free transfer. However, the player reportedly rejected the chance to join them. These events happened a month ago as Villa were trying to sign someone as cover for Keinan Davis.

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The 34-year-old Croatian is one of the most reputed players in Europe, having stints at some of the biggest clubs winning multiple titles during his time with them. He started out his youth career at TSF Ditzingen in 1992 and also had spells at Marsonia and Zeljeznicar before turning pro with Marsonia.

However, it was during his spell with Dinamo Zagreb that he gained prominence. In 112 appearances for them, he scored 53 goals and assisted 35. Wolfsburg signed him in 2010 and he continued his impressive form with them. His best spell would come with Bayern Munich though, who signed him in 2012.

Bayern’s Mario Mandzukic of Croatia reacts during the UEFA Champions League quarter-final second leg football match Bayern Munich vs Manchester United in Munich, southern Germany, on April 9, 2014. (Photo credit should read JOHANNES EISELE/AFP via Getty Images)

The forward played a significant part in their treble winning season as he racked up impressive numbers for the Bavarians. He had 62 goal contributions in just 88 games for them. Following that, he had an underwhelming stint at Atletico Madrid and then he moved to Juventus where he regained his form. Mandzukic was a veteran of the Croatian national team with 89 appearances and 33 goals.

Aston Villa need to pursue Mandzukic again

Sure Aston Villa have been a treat to watch this season with their attacking displays as they have racked up 5 wins from their opening 8 games. Their trident of Jack Grealish, Ollie Watkins and Ross Barkley have worked in tandem to produce those results.

The problem is that they don’t have adequate quality cover for Ollie Watkins in the attack. The club-record signing is the only quality striker they have in their ranks. With games coming thick and fast, there is always the risk of picking up an injury.

Juventus’ Croatian forward Mario Mandzukic gestures during the UEFA Champions League round of 16 first leg football match between Club Atletico de Madrid and Juventus FC at the Wanda Metropolitan stadium in Madrid on February 20, 2019. (Photo credit should read OSCAR DEL POZO/AFP via Getty Images)

This is where the signing of a player like Mandzukic could come in handy. The veteran striker is as experienced as they come, playing for some of the biggest names in Europe and firing goals at will. A selfless forward by all means, he is also a tireless workhorse who will run his socks off till the final whistle.

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While Villa may have been reportedly passed on by the player, they need to do everything in their capacity to bring him to the club. It’s not every day that you find a 197-goal striker on the free agent market.

Written by Sourav Ghosh

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