Gerrard could seal “phenomenal” deal as Aston Villa eye “relentless” £120k-p/w maestro - opinion
What’s the word?
With Villarreal and Napoli frontrunners, Steven Gerrard will also have to battle it out with the likes of Everton and Nottingham Forest before convincing the £120k-per-week star to move to the Midlands rather than abroad.
With the Frenchman desperate for playtime, perhaps he could be tempted to move further down the Premier League table in search of some consistency with far less pressure.
He would be their most creative midfielder
Villa currently possesses quite a strong and deep squad, however in central midfield, they are inundated with hard workers who do not quite possess the creativity needed to transition defence into attack.
That would leave a huge hole for Ndombele to fill, as a tricky midfielder whose first thought is always to go forward after receiving the ball.
He ranked in the top 1% for dribbles completed per 90, and combined with his progressive carries, of which he ranked in the top 4%, he is clearly a standout candidate for pushing his team up the pitch with the ball at his feet.
There must a reason that Jose Mourinho dubbed him “absolutely phenomenal”.
This outperforms any of Villa’s current crop of midfielders, with Jacob Ramsey’s 6.02 progressive carries, Boubacar Kamara’s 4.22, John McGinn’s 3.71 and Douglas Luiz’s 3.34 not even close to the creative force that is Ndombele.
His 88.4% pass completion rate also suggests that the “relentless” maestro can sit deeper and be something of a metronome for Gerrard’s team, allowing the likes of Philippe Coutinho and Emi Buendia to have less defensive constraints.
Managing 30 appearances across both the Premier League and Ligue 1 last season due to his loan move to Lyon, he still has featured a substantial amount, suggesting he will still be on top of his game. He also chipped in with six goal contributions.
He is a versatile midfielder and arguably is better than what can already be found at Villa Park. If he was to join, there is no doubt he would walk in as their most creative midfielder by some distance.