Aston Villa Opinion: Why Dean Smith should go all out to sign Josip Vukovic?

According to a report from Calciomercato, Aston Villa have expressed an interest to sign Maritimo ace Josip Vukovic, who has also attracted the attention of Lazio and Rangers.

The Croatian midfielder, 26, has been a regular fixture for Maritimo after joining from Olimpik Donetsk last summer. He has made 19 appearances for the Portuguese side, who currently sit 13th in the table.

Josip Vukovic

Josip Vukovic has a release clause worth £3.4million, which is a fee Aston Villa should be able to pay to bag his signature at the end of the season. And Dean Smith should do everything possible to beat the likes of Lazio and Rangers to lure the midfielder away to Villa Park.

Aston Villa are in a moment where they are destined to miss some of their first-choice midfielders. The likes of Glenn Whelan and Mile Jedinak have their contracts expiring at the end of this season, and they haven’t signed an extension yet. Furthermore, Jack Grealish is unlikely to stay at Villa Park if the club fails to achieve promotion, meaning Villa could potentially lose three midfielders this summer.

Thus, the Midlands need reinforcements in the midfield department ahead of next season and Dean Smith would be wise to sign Josip Vukovic. A youth product of HNK Hajduk Split, the 26-year-old is a defensive midfielder by trade, known for his physicality, tough-tackling and reading of the game. His work rate and contribution off the ball is impressive, to say the least.

The former Croatia Under-19 international is always on the move and brilliantly picks up a pocket of space where can receive the ball. Vukovic is technically sound and his quick understanding of the game allows him to recognize the threat around him and act accordingly. A very good passer of the ball, the 6ft ace likes to keep things simple and tidy in the middle of the park.

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Vukovic is an excellent tackler and never gets afraid to throw his body on the line, whilst possessing the ability to intercept the opposition’s play. He protects the backline very well and Villa definitely need someone like the Croat, considering how poor defensively they have been all season.

Verdict

Vukovic certainly has the qualities to quickly adapt to the Championship. On the whole, the Croatian midfield enforcer could be the ideal like-for-like replacement for Whelan at the end of the season.

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