Connect in the back of the net

Jordan Amavi ended speculation regarding his future by signing for Aston Villa for a reported sum of £10 million. The left-back joined the Claret and Blues from French side Nice and signed a five-year contract.

Amavi joins an Aston Villa side that has not had particularly great left-backs in a long, long time. With Aly Cissokho and Kieran Richardson the competition for the left-back spot, Amavi is expected to slowly become a first team regular.

For Aston Villa, this is a massively impressive signing. They’ve definitely got a player that has the potential to do big things in the future. They have to hold on to him for as long as they can.

Amavi’s rise has been extremely rapid. Signing his first professional contract with Nice in May last year, the player’s game and future has been constantly on the rise. Amavi spent his childhood years at his local club Sporting Toulon Var and was picked up by Nice in 2010. In 2013/14, he was picked from the academy to be cover of first choice to Timothee Kolodziejczak.

A string of injuries and a reported fall out with manager for “Kolo” meant that the young Frenchman had chances to impress. Impress he did, as he went on to appear 19 times and sign his first professional contract. After Kolodziejczak left for Sevilla in the summer, Nice knew they didn’t need to bring in a left-back who would start every game as they had the right person within their ranks.

Voted the best U-21 player by for the 2014-15 season, Amavi was absolutely sensational last season (he was also the second highest rated player in Ligue 1, next only to Zlatan Ibrahimovic). The 21-year-old started 36 league games for his side last season. He averaged a whopping 3.9 successful tackles per 90 minutes and his unbelievable reading of the game was illustrated through the fact that on an average, he made 4.6 interceptions per 90 minutes.

He looks effortless in the game and his maturity and cool-headedness are beyond his years. The fact that he doesn’t make too many fouls goes on to show that he doesn’t rush into many tackles and be reckless on the pitch.

As expected from a full-back, Amavi is lethal going forward. Defenders have often struggled to cope with his dribbling ability and he averages 1.9 dribbles per 90 minutes. He is comfortable with cutting inside and carrying the ball forward and his pace coupled with his dribbling skills, makes him an offensive threat.

He does have to better his end product, namely his crosses, which don’t usually find a player at the end of them. He himself is a decent player to have in the box for free-kicks and corners and even scored two headed goals for Nice last season.

The biggest advantage Amavi has is the fact that he is only 21. He has not even reached the peak of his game and already looks so promising. It’s a frightening how good he can be in three-four years, if he progresses on this path.

Tim Sherwood and Aston Villa have acquired a top player and one who can be truly world class in the future. It’s easy to hype up players, but any Ligue 1 followed will rave about the Amavi of last season.

The player needs guaranteed game time if he wants to break into the French national team and has plenty of competition for the spot with the likes of Digne and Kurzawa vying for the same spot. However, if Tim Sherwood can guide him and help him develop his game which already looks extremely promising, Aston Villa really have some player with them.


Written by Aakriti Mehrotra

Follow Aakriti on Twitter @Aakriti1

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