The former Lille midfielder agreed a switch to Villa Park, and he has admitted to L’Equipe that Southampton were interested in him, but not as a first-choice target.
Gueye said: “There were a few clubs [interested in me] but I wasn’t necessarily their priority. At Southampton, I was number three [target] and they never made an offer. Should I have taken the risk of waiting and then no longer having the chance to make my own decision? At Aston Villa, I felt good. They showed me their desire to have me.”
Villa signed the box-to-box midfielder as a replacement for Fabian Delph, and the move for him is one of real intent by the club.
Gueye has consistently impressed in Ligue 1, and the Senegalese international could prove to be a better player than Delph.
And it could be Delph who actually was the main reason Gueye signed for Villa, with his departure meaning first-team chances are guaranteed at Villa Park. The midfielder has admitted that Southampton’s interest was real, but because he was only a third choice target, he preferred to sign with a club who showed a ‘desire’ to have him.
The good news for Villa is that they still retain the kind of transfer draw that is needed to remain competitive in the Premier League, having beaten out a Europa League team to the signing of a potential top class midfielder.
This reputation will be needed if they are to end their woes near the relegation places, and if more signings of Gueye’s calibre are made the summer, Villa could be set for a great campaign during 2015/16.