Alan McInally: I'd Love To See Federico Chiesa At Aston Villa

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Alan McInally: I'd Love To See Federico Chiesa At Aston Villa

Alan McInally has urged his former club Aston Villa to sign Federico Chiesa ahead of the new season.

Chiesa, who is thought to be considering his future at Juventus, is one of many players being linked with a move to Villa, who are 7/2 on football betting sites to finish in the top four for the second successive season.

Villa can look forward to a Champions League campaign for the first time in their history, although they did win the European Cup before it was rebranded in 1992. 

And McInally says he would love to see the Italy international pull on the Villa shirt next season.

“I love him, I think he’s such an exciting player,” McInally told Gambling.com. 

“Two years ago, I thought he was going to end up at Manchester United, Liverpool, Arsenal or somewhere like that. 

"I thought he was really good. I’d love Villa to sign him, I think he’d be so exciting.

“He’s a skilful player, and I think he gives you absolutely everything when he goes out on the pitch. 

"You can point your fingers at some players and say: ‘come on then, come on I know it’s in there, show us it’ - I don’t think you see that with Chiesa. 

"He plays with his heart on his sleeve, and everyone can see it. I think he’d be a great signing. 

“How much would it cost? I don’t know. But Juventus must have some team if he can’t get in it.”

Unai Emery’s side are preparing for Champions League football next term, for which they are rank outsiders on betting apps

Villa have already added Ian Maatsen, Ross Barkley, Cameron Archer, Lewis Dobbin, Samuel Iling-Junior and Enzo Barrenechea to their ranks.

Villa lost Douglas Luiz to Juventus, however, and McInally thinks they need to source a top-class replacement for the Brazilian.

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But he also believes Villa require reinforcements right across the pitch.

“Probably midfield, because Douglas Luiz has obviously gone to Juventus,” McInally said. 

“Obviously we’ll have Boubacar Kamara back and John McGinn. 

“It would be nice for Ollie Watkins to have a bit of help. There’s a lot of pressure on Ollie having to score all the goals, which, incidentally, he handled brilliantly well, he really did.

“I’ve always thought that Unai Emery has tinkered defensively, with Ezri Konsa and Pau Torres. There was always a switch of the two centre-backs, and I just wonder if he’s thinking about bringing in a centre-back. 

“I think our full-backs are good; Matty Cash has done a great job and so has Alex Moreno. 

“Strengthening in terms of numbers is what we need to do. Because it’s going to be tough with the Premier League and Champions League now. Villa haven’t done it for a long time. 

“And Unai has done it successfully with other teams, and obviously got us to the semi-final of the Europa Conference League. So we handled it relatively well. It’s just when we got to that final hurdle we didn’t quite get over it.   

“I would think the centre-back area is somewhere that he’s thinking of bringing in another body, but it will be interesting to see how much he spends and where he thinks he needs to strengthen, because Villa were excellent last season, they really were.”

The signing of Maatsen has excited Villa fans most after his role in Borussia Dortmund’s run to the Champions League final last season.

Maatsen previously starred at Burnley on a loan move from Chelsea and McInally is looking forward to seeing him in a Villa shirt.

“He was brilliant at Burnley by the way, when he was on loan. He was absolutely fantastic. 

"I think that’s one of the reasons why they got promoted. They had Vitinha on one side and Maatsen on the other side, and they were absolutely fantastic.

"And Maatsen is a player that likes to go forward, I like that in a full-back. His job is a defender, you’re a full-back, you’re defensive minded, fine. 

"But when the ball’s down the other side, not to be dreaming and to get involved and look to get forward. I love players like that.

“Kieran Trippier started like that. That’s how he became exactly what he is. Get forward, get good balls in the box, concentrate on your delivery and be a part of the team when you’ve got the ball and are going forward. But do your job initially as a defender.

“I think he is a super signing.”

Villa’s players have returned for pre-season training, with the exception of those currently on international duty at the European Championship and Copa America.

Konsa and Watkins are representing England in Germany, and both will hope to lead the Three Lions to glory. They are second favourites on the UK betting sites to win Euro 2024.

McInally understands why Watkins is behind Harry Kane in the pecking order, but he is disappointed that Ivan Toney seems to be second-in-command.

“It’s tough to take Kane out of the plan I suppose," McInally said. 

"Watkins is not getting a rough deal as he’s in the squad, but I would like to see him get in ahead of Toney, who I think is a lucky boy getting in the squad in the first place with the last year that he’s had. 

“Having said that, England needed him to take a penalty and he took it.

”I don’t think Watkins is getting a raw deal, but I think he’ll get an opportunity the same way Konsa did to prove his international class, and it’ll come. He’ll just have to wait.”

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