Aston Villa Opinion: Why the Villans should go all out to sign Valentin Rongier
According to a report from the Birmingham Mail, newly-promoted Aston Villa are plotting a swap deal for Nantes midfield ace Valentin Rongier. The Villans are ready to sacrifice goalkeeper Lovre Kalinic and add around £9m to Nantes in return for the Frenchman.
Valentin Rongier, 25, enjoyed his best season in a Nantes shirt last time out, scoring four goals and assisting five times in 36 Ligue 1 games. The midfielder still has three years left on his Nantes deal and the club are under no pressure to sell one of their key players, so the Ligue 1 outfit have the luxury to demand a huge amount this summer.
Lovre Kalinic only joined Aston Villa from Belgian club Gent in January but hasn’t been able to nail down his place in goal. The big Croat has looked shaky and indecisive coming off the line at times, which has made his time so far at the Villa Park very ordinary.
Given that Villa have offered Jed Steer a new deal, following his heroics during the promotion campaign, Dean Smith must offload Kalinic and sign a new shot-stopper to compete with Steer and Orjan Nyland next season.
And by offering Kalinic and some money to Nantes, Villa could have a fantastic player in Rongier in their ranks. The club has already released a lot of players this summer, including the experienced midfield duo of Glenn Whelan and Mile Jedinak. Whelan and Jedinak’s departure has left Dean Smith a bit short in options in the midfield department.
To compete in the highly-demanding and taxing Premier League, the Birmingham-based club need quality as well as depth to their squad. Villa have already splashed a lot of money so far in this transfer window and must continue to do so unless Smith finds his squad ready to compete with the big boys.
Rongier could be an inspired signing for the Villans. A defensive midfielder by trade, Rongier is adept at playing in different positions across the midfield and dictating play. He is renowned for his work-rate, ball-winning ability and initiating attacks generally from a deeper role in midfield. The 24-year-old is an excellent tackler, knows how to intercept play and keep possession in the tightest of areas.
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He has a fantastic passing range with which he dictates the tempo of a game. Rongier would add a lot of tenacity and energy to the Villa engine room and his presence at the base of midfield trio will give John McGinn and Jack Grealish the freedom to play their natural game.
Rongier would be an excellent signing for Aston Villa, and offloading Kalinic, who has flopped at Villa Park to help them land the French midfielder will represent fantastic business.