While Aston Villa have countered some of their attacking problems this month with the £3.25 million signing of Carles Gil from Valencia, Paul Lambert’s side remain desperate for creative reinforcements.
With 11 goals from 22 matches, at an average of 0.5 per game, the West Midlands outfit are on course to be the Premier League’s lowest-ever scorers, while their shot conversion rate of just 5% and 168 created chances are also division-worst figures.
Efforts are being made to resolve the issue, with the Telegraph reporting that a deal for Manchester City winger Scott Sinclair is back on after initial talks broke down over the £3 million valuation, but his dramatic plight over the past few seasons suggests there will be no guarantees of production at Villa Park.
Instead, one feasible alternative, who has been putting in impressive showings in recent months, is Bolton Wanderers wide man Lee Chung-Yong.
The South Korea international has been in excellent form for the Trotters since the arrival of manager Neil Lennon in October, helping fire his side up the table with a string of influential performances from both the right flank and a central role.
Out of contract in the summer, he is understood to be holding off talks in the hopes of a Premier League move this month, per the Bolton News, and Lennon has admitted that he could be forced to cash in on his star man’s signature.
"We're still hoping we can convince him to stay [but] that's looking less and less likely,” he told Sky Sports earlier this month.
"He's 26 and I think he wants to play at a higher level - I understand that. From a club point of view, if he is going to go, then it's important we get the right price for him."
Recovering from a hairline fracture picked up at the Asian Cup, Lee has been linked to a number of top-flight clubs in recent weeks, with the Daily Mail naming Crystal Palace and Stoke City as his likeliest destinations, although the former have baulked at his £30,000-per-week wage demands.
Fiorentina are also said to be contenders in the event of Juan Cuadrado’s potential departure to Cheslea, with a reported price tag of just £1.5 million standing out as real bargain on the market.
That in mind, given his asking price, age, talent and pedigree, it would make perfect sense for Villa to make a run at the Bolton attacker during the closing stages of the transfer window.
The claret and blues need another natural option out wide after being forced to make-do with Gabby Agbonlahor and Andreas Weimann for far too long, and he would certainly prove a perfect fit in the current line-up.
With Christian Benteke up top, flanked by Lee and Gil, and a midfield trio of Carlos Sanchez, Ashley Westwood and Fabian Delph, Villa’s prospects of launching an assault up the table would suddenly look much for promising.
However, given the interest which has been reported in the former FC Seoul star’s services so far, they would need to move fast in order to make that scenario a reality.