25 goals, 22 assists – Aston Villa signing this 26-year-old French star would be a useful addition for Smith

Morgan Sanson (Getty Images)
Morgan Sanson celebrates after scoring for Marseille. (Getty Images)

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Why Morgan Sanson would be a quality signing for Aston Villa

According to the Birmingham Live, Aston Villa have once again been linked with a move for Marseille midfielder Morgan Sanson in the January window. 

The Frenchman has been linked multiple times with the Midlands outfit ever since their return to the Premier League in 2019. But as per the report, Dean Smith’s side could be set to act on their interest and make a formal approach for the Ligue 1 star this month.

However, Villa are expected to face stiff competition in their pursuit of Sanson. Premier League rivals Arsenal, Tottenham and Wolves, as well as Bundesliga giants Borussia Dortmund, are all understood to be vying for the Marseille star. Sanson has entered the final 18 months of his contract at the French club and could be set for an exit anytime soon. (h/t Birmingham Live)


Morgan Sanson might not be all that familiar to the English fans but he is pretty much a household name in the French top-flight. The midfielder started his career at Le Mans in the second-tier before rising to prominence with Montpellier in Ligue 1. 

Morgan Sanson has been a star performer for Marseille over the last two seasons. (Getty Images)
Morgan Sanson has been a star performer for Marseille over the last two seasons. (Getty Images)

He registered 13 goals and 13 assists in 106 appearances over three-and-a-half seasons before moving to Marseille in January 2017. In the following campaign, Sanson played a key role as the French outfit reached the finals of the 2017-18 Europa League, scoring 12 times in 53 appearances across all competitions that season. 

Sanson has continued to flourish as a key cog in Marseille’s midfield over the past couple of seasons. The former French U-21 star has tallied 156 appearances for the club, amassing 25 goals and 22 assists in the process. Those are pretty impressive numbers considering that he has often been utilised in a deeper role in the middle.

Villa need to reshuffle their midfield

Aston Villa bolstered their midfield with the acquisition of Ross Barkley on loan from Chelsea in the summer. The England international has made a positive impact with his playmaking skills, while also boosting Smith’s dynamics in the final third.

Morgan Sanson Marseille
Aston Villa are ready to firm up their interest in Sanson this month (Getty Images)

Having said that, however, Villa can still do with some upgrades on their central midfield options. Douglas Luiz and John McGinn have excelled as the first-choice pairing in that department so far but Smith clearly needs quality alternatives moving forward. 

Conor Hourihane has been linked with a loan move away after struggling for game time. Smith needs to make a decision on the Irishman’s future, considering that he’s out of contract in 2022. Marvelous Nakamba has also offered very little in recent times, having faded away following a bright start to life at Villa Park last term.

Putting things into context, Morgan Sanson represents an excellent long-term option for Aston Villa. The 26-year-old has racked up over 200 appearances in Ligue 1 for Montpellier and Marseille, hitting great heights in his homeland. With Champions League and Europa League experience under his belt, Villa can certainly expect him to make the step up to the Premier League. 

Sanson has been profiled as a good distributor and a midfielder who wins his tackles, meaning that he shares some similarities with the likes of McGinn and Luiz at Villa Park.

Morgan Sanson
Morgan Sanson (Getty Images)

The Frenchman also has the work rate to contribute equally at both ends of the pitch, as evident from his heat map in Ligue 1 last season. That coupled with his knack for producing goals and assists make him a quality all-round operator in the middle.

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Morgan Sanson has progressed by leaps and bounds over the past few years and still potentially has his best years ahead of him at 26. He would definitely represent an upgrade on the likes of Hourihane and Nakamba at Aston Villa, thus ensuring better competition for places in Smith’s midfield.