24 goals, 21 assists – Aston Villa signing this 26-year-old Ligue 1 star would be a terrific addition


Why Aston Villa should reignite their interest in Morgan Sanson

Back in March, French outlet Le Phoceen (h/t Birmingham Live) had mentioned Aston Villa among a host of Premier League clubs to be credited with an interest in Marseille midfielder Morgan Sanson.

However, the Villans eventually turned their attention to other targets in the summer window while the Frenchman stayed put in his homeland despite widespread interest from several other clubs in England.


Morgan Sanson started his footballing education at Bourges before completing his development at Le Mans, where he made his senior breakthrough in Ligue 2 during the 2012-13 season. He then earned a move to the top-flight with Montpellier and went on to spend three-and-a-half seasons, accumulating decent returns of 13 goals and 13 assists in 106 appearances. 

The 26-year-old was snapped up by Marseille in January 2017 and Sanson went on to play a key role in the club’s march to the 2017-18 Europa League final. 

Wolves to Break Club Transfer Record for Marseille Star Morgan Sanson This Summer | 90min
Aston Villa had been linked with Morgan Sanson in the summer (Getty Images)

The former France U21 international has amassed an envious tally of 24 goals and 21 assists in 145 appearances for Marseille in all competitions. 

Sanson would add more quality to Villa’s midfield

Having spent a substantial amount of cash on Ollie Watkins, Bertrand Traore, Emiliano Martinez, and Matty Cash earlier in the summer, Aston Villa capped off a successful transfer window with the acquisition of Ross Barkley on a season-long loan deal from Chelsea.

And the England international has enjoyed a fine start to life at Villa Park, scoring twice in three league outings so far. The 26-year-old has, indeed, added a lot of quality to Villa’s build-up play but he’s only a temporary solution. It’s still unclear what the future holds for Barkley beyond next summer when his loan deal expires.

Aston Villa currently have the likes of Douglas Luiz, John McGinn, Marvelous Nakamba, and Conor Hourihane competing for places in the midfield. Henri Lansbury has been left out of the 25-man Premier League squad, which clearly suggests that he isn’t a part of Dean Smith’s plans. 

Versatile Marseille star a Premier League star-in-the-making
Sanson has made 145 appearances for Marseille in all competitions (Getty Images)

Villa seem to have enough competition for places in the middle but it wouldn’t be a bad idea for them to line up some upgrades in that department. Nakamba has struggled to make a big impact following his move to English football, so Smith can consider cutting his losses on the Zimbabwean international.

The Midlands outfit seemed to lack enough quality in the ranks after McGinn was ruled out with a long-term injury last season. The manager should definitely have that on the back of his mind and bring in some alternatives to avoid a similar crisis again.

Aston Villa making a renewed attempt to sign Morgan Sanson in January would go a long way towards adding more depth and quality to their midfield. Essentially a central midfielder by trade, the Frenchman has the versatility to switch seamlessly between attacking, defensive and box-to-box roles in midfield.

Report suggests the real reason behind Everton's apparent Morgan Sanson interest - The Boot Room
Source: Getty Images

Besides his obvious ability to score goals and make assists, the 26-year-old also excels with his high work rate. As evident from his heat map last season, Sanson is a very mobile player who covers a lot of ground and is capable of contributing equally to both defence and attack. Hence, it’s clear that the Frenchman would bring a wide range of qualities to Villa’s midfield.

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Morgan Sanson has less than two years remaining on his contract at Marseille that runs until 2022. Therefore, the door remains very much open for Aston Villa to have another shot at securing his services in January. He still has plenty of time left in his prime and could well have a transformative impact on the club’s midfield for years to come.