The Frenchman's error-strewn performance condemned Aston Villa to yet another defeat.
A few hours before Aston Villa’s clash with Barnsley on Tuesday evening, former Valencia stalwart and Argentinian legend Roberto Ayala delivered a stern reminder to the modern-day defender.
"Centre-backs? Defend first, give me some security,” one of the most full-blooded, committed footballers of his generation said in quotes reported by Goal. “Full-backs? Don't lose sight of that fact that, first and foremost, you are defenders."
And Villa fans would surely nod their head in agreement, at least with regard to Ayala’s views on the contemporary full-back. Jordan Amavi, after all, fits the mould like a prototype. More a winger than a defender, the France under-23 international is renowned for his relentless overlapping and dangerous deliveries than his effectiveness in the back four.
Crucially, he is not a defender. Not a natural one anyway, as Villa’s 3-1 home defeat, their fifth loss in six games, proved.
Giving away the penalty to allow Adam Armstrong to net the opener before playing a major role in Barnsley’s calamitous second, even Amavi’s trademark forward bursts could not make up for such a dereliction of his defensive duties.
Villa boss Steve Bruce reverted back to a 4-2-3-1 after failed experiments with a three-man defensive system but, in truth, Amavi is made for the wing-back role – partly because his pace on the flank makes him a major attacking threat but, mostly, because he lacks the awareness required to spot the danger in a back four.
Owner Tony Xia claimed in December that he turned down a £25 million offer from an unnamed Chinese club for Amavi’s signature, The Sun reported. Though most Villa supporters would bite their hands off on the basis of Tuesday’s horror show.