According to various sources this week, Aston Villa are lining up a winter move for Dinamo Zagreb right-back Ivo Pinto, as manager Paul Lambert bids to bolster his underperforming squad.
Valued at around £4 million, Pinto moved to Zagreb from CFR Cluj back in 2013 and has impressed during his short stint in Croatia, helping the club win the league title last season, before putting in a string of impressive performances in the Europa League this term.
The 24-year-old Portuguese defender even earned his first national team call-up last month, despite not seeing any minutes, with new manager Fernando Santos keen to introduce fresh blood into the setup.
Nevertheless, with Villa already boasting Alan Hutton, who penned a fresh four-year deal at the club not long ago, Matthew Lowton and even Leandro Bacuna to fill his position, one has to question whether the former Porto prospect would be a wise acquisition.
|Team||Assists||Total Key Passes||Total Crosses GAME||Total Tackles GAME||Total Clearances GAME||Interceptions GAME||Total Dribbles GAME||Dispossessed GAME||Passing Accuracy||Appearances||Mins Played|
|Alan Hutton||Aston Villa||0||4||3.13||2.13||3.63||1.88||1.25||0.75||74%||8||720|
|Matthew Lowton||Aston Villa||0||2||4.33||3.33||4.67||3||1||1||73%||3||270|
|Ivo Pinto||Dinamo Zagreb||1||5||1.3||4||2||1.5||0.3||0.5||64.9%||4||319|
His stats in the Europe this season, against a lower a standard of opposition to the Premier League, in fact suggest Pinto might struggle to unseat both Hutton and Lowton – far from encouraging considering neither is a top-class option.
In addition, with Besiktas boss Slaven Bilic also expressing interest in his signature, a bidding war could well be on the cards in the coming months.
With Villa’s budget still somewhat tight, and other areas in more desperate need of strengthening, Lambert would be better off taking his cash somewhere else.