According to latest reports by the Daily Mail, Idrissa Gueye has passed a medical at Aston Villa and is set to complete his £9million move from Lille next week.
The Mail suggests that manager Tim Sherwood has a significant part to play in bringing the 25-year-old to Villa Park, successfully convincing him to sign after talks at Bodymoor Heath training ground on Thursday and Friday.
Gueye has agreed terms but Villa must wait on paperwork pertaining to his work permit. However, should everything go to plan, an announcement should be expected after the weekend.
Here is an analysis of five areas in which the Senegal international's arrival will improve Sherwood's current side.
|Goals||Shots per Game||Pass Success (%)||Passes per Game||Tackles Won per Game||Aerial Success (%)||Interceptions per Game||Dribble Success (%)||Apps|
With four goals to his name from the previous campaign, only Tom Cleverley came close to matching Gueye's goal scoring record. Despite averaging a modest 1.09 shots per game, the 25-year-old was able to convert 13.3% of his total attempts, which would have made him the highest scoring central midfielder at Villa Park last season. Based on Squawka.com's Performance Score algorithm, he also ranked best in terms of his contribution going forward.
Having recorded a pass completion rate of 86%, Gueye would represent an upgrade for Sherwood's side in terms of his ability to maintain possession. The Senegal international does not only boast the joint-highest success rate from last term (alongside Tom Cleverley), but on average, he has also completed more passes - 61.97 per appearance - than any other Villa midfielder, 40.31 of which saw the ball move forward.
Strength in the middle
If there was one thing lacking at Villa Park last season, it was an element of strength in the centre of the park. Gueye, being the powerful midfielder that he is, will provide some added steel to Tim Sherwood's side. The 25-year-old won an impressive 2.70 tackles per appearance last term - a figure that sees him emerge superior to all the club's current options. Meanwhile, he was able to win 50% of his 60 attempted headed duels.
Reading of the Game
It is testament to Gueye's intelligence that he ranks so highly when it comes to intercepting and therefore breaking down opposition attacks. Throughout last season he averaged an impressive 2.9 interceptions per appearance, over one more than his greatest central midfield challenger at Villa Park. In fact, his efforts were superior to each and every Aston Villa player last season, including all of the club's defenders.
Like Fabian Delph, Gueye has a bit of a knack for running with the ball at his feet. He is not quite as successful as the Englishman (71% completion rate), nor does he attempt to dribble as regularly, however there is no doubt that the duo will cause a complete nuisance for opposition midfields, should they line-up together next season.