Aston Villa boast some of the most promising goalkeeping talent in English football right now, but that has not stopped the club from sending scouts to watch a 36-year-old shot-stopper ahead of the summer transfer window.
As reported by the Mirror, Villa have been eyeing Feyenoord’s veteran ‘keeper Brad Jones, with the former Middlesbrough and Liverpool man keen to return to England after three years in the Dutch Eredivisie.
It is likely that Jones is a contingency plan if Villa miss out on promotion, which will likely cost them the chance to sign loanee Sam Johnstone on an expensive permanent deal. But even if Villa are in the Premier League next season, the four-time Australia international would provide an experienced back-up option.
All of which suggests that Matija Sarkic has some way to go before he can fight for a place in Steve Bruce’s first-team plans.
Montenegrin Sarkic might only be 20 but he has been very highly rated within the walls at Villa Park for some time, having shone as the club’s first-choice under-21 shot-stopper.
Even a failed loan spell at Wigan Athletic, which was cancelled in January after he made just three appearances for the League One side, has not stopped some Villa fans from demanding that Sarkic be promoted to back-up duty instead of the potential signing of Jones.
But with an experienced shot-stopper on Bruce’s wish list, you wonder whether the manager believes the time is not yet right for Sarkic.
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