Paul Lambert has moved very quickly to secure the signing of Sevilla left back Antonio Luna on a three-year deal.
Luna will link up with the club officially next month when the transfer window opens and his statistics last season suggest it could be a very good piece of business by a much criticised Aston Villa boss.
“I've always believed that I could play in the Premier League. To have this opportunity with a club as historic and huge as Aston Villa and with a manager who is building a squad of young players with great prospects is tremendously exciting,” said the Spaniard.
Luna made just 15 La Liga appearances in total last season, spending the majority of those appearances in a struggling Mallorca side.
Interestingly he was only taken off on three occasions, which suggests that when he’s given a long run of games and a genuine chance, he’s fit enough, consistent enough and good enough to hold down the left back position.
His passing success rate based on La Liga games last season was just over the 72% mark, which is respectable considering the number of games he appeared in.
Villa would like that to improve and get closer to 80% but it shows he’s a competent 22-year-old defender who makes positive basic decisions in a variety of different situations with different pressure.
It also shows that he picks the easy pass more often than he tries to launch a ball forward down the left channel or up to the strikers.
An interesting stat is that he wins under one aerial duel per game on average. That shouldn’t be seen as a negative because you have to reflect on the league he’s coming from and his position.
He’s going to a club which will work hard with him in the gym, which will give him the best possible chance of seeing that 0.8 aerial duels per game won figure head the other side of at least one.
His discipline record last season also shows that he cuts a feisty and determined sort of figure; four yellow cards and two reds.
That may sound like an alarming record for someone who played such few games but it’s a tribute to his passion and his aggression.
It also shows that he’s going to stick up for himself because experienced opposition sides will focus on him as a potential weakness in the Aston Villa back four and someone who can be exploited.
His average rating seems to be around 6.5/10 at the moment, which is about what you’d expect for a player like this.
If Lambert uses him in the right way, he settles in quickly and becomes better defensively and physically then Villa fans can expect that to go the other side of 7/10.
What do you make of Luna? How do you think he’ll play for Villa next season?
image: © mollyig