Why Aston Villa should take a punt on Christian Luyindama in January
The 27-year-old Congolese international had been on Dean Smith’s radar back in May last year but a move to Villa Park never materialised in the summer. The Lions have been credited with an interest in the defender this month but are expected to face competition from Premier League rivals Everton in their pursuit of the Turkish Super Lig star.
As per the report, Galatasaray are willing to cash in on Luyindama during the mid-season trading period to fund deals for other targets. The Turkish giants have put a £9m price tag on the centre-back amidst interest from the Premier League clubs.
Luyindama started his career at Congolese outfit TP Mazembe, where he made over 60 appearances and won the 2016 CAF Confederations Cup. He moved to Europe with Standard Liege in January 2017, initially on loan before completing a permanent transfer to the Belgian club that summer.
The 27-year-old impressed as a regular starter at the back for Standard Liege over two years, amassing 8 goals in 74 appearances across all competitions. After winning the Belgian Cup in 2018, Luyindama was transferred to Galatasaray in January 2019. Luyindama has made 50 appearances for the Turkish outfit, representing them in the Champions League and Europa League.
Meanwhile, Aston Villa aren’t really crying out for a new centre-back in the January window. Smith’s side currently boast the joint second-best defensive record in the Premier League this season with just 16 goals conceded in 15 games so far. That, coupled with 29 goals scored at the other end, has left the Midlands outfit 10th in the standings.
Having said that, however, Villa might have to step up their pursuit of a new central defender should they decide to cash in on Bjorn Engels this month. Engels has been heavily linked with a return to his native Belgium after failing to make even a single appearance under Smith in the Premier League so far this season.
The first-choice centre-back pairing of Tyrone Mings and Ezri Konsa has been instrumental in Villa’s sparkling start to the season. With Kortney Hause also proving himself as a quality alternative, the Lions look well-stocked heading into a hectic winter schedule. But a potential exit for Engels would surely necessitate the recruitment of a new fourth option in that department.
Putting things into perspective, Christian Luyindama ticks several boxes as Aston Villa as a decent centre-back with European experience. The Congolese international might not be an upgrade on the club’s existing options at the back but the strong and powerful Congolese star would make a good replacement if Villa decided to part ways with Engels.
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In truth, Aston Villa making an approach for Christian Luyindama this month should largely hinge on the future of Bjorn Engels at the club. Having said that, however, Luyindama has proven his credentials in Turkey and Belgium, while also doing well in the Champions League.
He still potentially has his best years ahead of him at 27 and with Galatasaray only looking for a decent fee to cash in on him, the Congolese international looks more than worth a punt for the Villans.