Aston Villa interested in 22-year-old Ligue 1 starlet – Is Smith making the right choice here?


Why Aston Villa should sign Maxime Lopez to improve their midfield options

According to Sport Witness (h/t Birmingham Live), Aston Villa are interested in signing Marseille midfielder Maxime Lopez, who has just one more year left on his contract with the French outfit.

Lopez, 22, came through the ranks of Marseille’s youth system and was promoted to the club’s senior team in 2014. After struggling to break into the starting XI in his initial years, he became a regular starter from 2016 and is one of the most exciting youngsters.

Despite his tender age, he has already made 146 appearances for the club, scoring 5 goals and providing 21 assists in the process. Thus, Aston Villa should make a move for the youngster in the summer to bring a change in their midfield.

Maxime Lopez in action for France U21 squad (Getty Images)
Maxime Lopez in action for France U21 squad (Getty Images)

The Villans have struggled to make progress in the top-flight after their successful qualification campaign. Despite signing 12 new players last summer, they have been inconsistent and are battling to move out of the relegation zone.

With just 7 wins in 28 games, Aston Villa are 19th in the league standings and are facing relegation back to the championship. They have scored just 34 goals so far and with Wesley Moraes’ injury, the manager was forced to bring in Mbwana Samatta and Borja Baston to lead their attacking unit.

However, one area where the manager should prioritise strengthening for next season is the midfield. Douglas Luiz, Conor Hourihane, John McGinn and Henri Lansbury are the only midfielders available at the manager’s disposal.

Aston Villa boss Dean Smith (Getty Images)
Aston Villa boss Dean Smith (Getty Images)

While Luiz and Hourihane are the two regular members in the squad, McGinn has been injured for the best part of the 2019/20 season. And Lansbury has featured as a backup, making just 8 appearances so far. Thus, adding a midfielder to Smith’s squad would be a wise decision by the club and Marseille’s Maxime Lopez would be a viable option.

The 22-year-old has been improving in the past few years and already has three assists to his name this term after making just 13 starts. He would be a huge boost to the squad as he has a career appearance of 146 games.

With a lack of quality and depth in the squad, Lopez would be a valuable addition to the squad. He is just 22 and has a huge future ahead and would be a crucial member once he gains Premier League experience.

Maxime Lopez (R) is one of the best young players in Europe (Getty Images)
Maxime Lopez (R) is one of the best young players in Europe (Getty Images)

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Danny Drinkwater, who was on loan with Villa, has left midway through the campaign and Lansbury has just one year left on his contract with the club. Thus, they go seek a midfielder who can provide them with the much-required and quality.

Therefore, the Villans should lure the former French U21 international to Villa Park in the summer and he could represent them in the long run.