Aston Villa have been paired with an interest in Bordeaux winger Mehdi Zerkane this summer as we look to bolster our options in the final third.
As per L’Equipe, Villa representatives were in attendance to watch the 21-year-old this past weekend as he scored in a 3-0 win for Bordeaux over Lens.
It’s added in that report that we’ve been following him for around three months, and so it remains to be seen whether or not that eventually leads to a bid being made to try and prise him to Birmingham.
Career stats, early promise
Zerkane has made 27 appearances for the Ligue 1 outfit so far this season having broken through with the senior side this year, and that comes after he initially came through the youth ranks at Monaco.
He’s bagged one goal and one assist in those 27 outings, while he has already received his first cap for Algeria as it appears as though he has a bright future ahead for club and country.
Predominantly used as a right winger which is his more natural position, he has the ability to play on the opposite flank and through the middle too, but given our lack of quality and consistency on the right side of our attack, he could be viewed as a potential long-term solution by Villa given we’ve been monitoring him for some time.
With a tendency to cut inside onto his favoured left foot, he is similar in a sense to what Bertrand Traore currently offers Dean Smith in that role, but there are obvious differences in the way the two players operate on the pitch.
What kind of player is Zerkane?
As seen in the video below, the youngster is technically gifted and has an elegant and stylish way about him when in possession, while his left foot combined with his vision and awareness allows him to play impressive passes across the pitch.
Naturally, there is still plenty of room for development, particularly his cutting edge in the final third whether that’s creating for others and racking up assists or putting chances away himself. That will no doubt come with time as he gains experience and becomes more composed, but there is a lot of raw talent on display with Zerkane.
A lazy comparison is perhaps Hakim Ziyech at this stage, although he is evidently nowhere near that level yet, but it’s certainly an intriguing and potentially exciting addition for Villa if they do make an offer and agree terms with both Bordeaux and Zerkane this summer.