Why Aston Villa signing Alex Texeira for free would be a smart coup
According to claims from football website Fichajes (h/t Birmingham Live), Aston Villa have been credited with an interest in Brazilian attacker Alex Texeira as Dean Smith bids to bolster his squad in the January window.
Texeira is currently a free agent in the market following the expiry of his contract with Chinese Super League outfit Jiangsu Suning. The 31-year-old has been linked with a return to his former club Shakhtar Donetsk while Portuguese giants Benfica have also expressed an interest in the veteran star this month. (Fichajes h/t Birmingham Live)
Alex Texeira started his professional career with Brazilian club Vasco da Gama, where he scored 16 times in 92 appearances over two seasons. His potential caught the eye of Shakhtar Donetsk, who paid €6million to secure his services in January 2010.
The versatile attacker went on to spend five seasons with the Ukrainian heavyweights, guiding the club to as many as 5 domestic league titles. Texeira’s impressive spell at the Donbass Arena saw him rack up 89 goals and 25 assists in 223 appearances across all competitions.
Besides finishing as the top-scorer in the Ukrainian Premier League on a couple of occasions, Texeira also caught the eye regularly in the Champions League. The Brazilian scored 11 times in 41 appearances in the main stages of Europe’s elite club competition, earning rave reviews.
His exploits saw him linked with a move to the Premier League giants Liverpool in 2016 but Texeira eventually ended up venturing to China, joining Jiangsu Suning in the process. The former Brazil U-20 star went on to plunder 73 goals and 43 assists in 153 appearances over five seasons in the Far East, winning the Chinese Super League title in 2020.
More depth needed at Villa Park?
Aston Villa bolstered their attack with deals for Bertrand Traore and Ollie Watkins this past summer. Both players have played their part in what has been an impressive first half of the campaign for Dean Smith’s side.
While Watkins has flourished as the undisputed No.9 in front of goal, Traore has also come to the fore in recent weeks with a string of impressive displays. The former Chelsea man endured a sluggish start to life at Villa Park but has hit a purple patch over the past month, scoring 4 times in his last 6 Premier League appearances.
Talismanic playmaker Jack Grealish has continued to perform at a very high level this season. Things certainly look bright for Villa in the final third with Anwar el Ghazi also chipping in with some crucial goals. Meanwhile, Chelsea loanee Ross Barkley has also been a key part of Dean Smith’s plans when fit.
However, Aston Villa don’t really have too many quality alternatives up top beyond their regular starters. That could be a problem for Smith heading into a hectic second half of the campaign. As per FBref, Villa have used only 20 players in the PL this season so far, which is the fewest among all sides in the division.
Texeira an ideal signing?
Truth be told, Alex Texeira hardly fits Aston Villa’s recruitment model that revolves around bringing in quality young players with room for development. Having said that, however, the Villans should ease their policy to accommodate the Brazilian, who ticks several boxes to come through the door as a useful addition to the club’s forward line.
The 31-year-old hasn’t played in Europe for a pretty long time, which presents a concern for Aston Villa. But his past exploits at Shakhtar, not least his glowing track record in the Champions League, suggest that Texeira is capable of playing at a very high level.
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The Brazilian is also capable of switching between wide left, No.10 and centre-forward roles. Hence, his quality and experience, coupled with his versatility should make him a real coup for Aston Villa. Texeira might not be an ideal signing for Smith but would surely offer real value for money on a free transfer.