Aston Villa are reportedly keen on bringing in a new midfielder this summer, with Angers Baptiste Santamaria and Leeds United’s Kalvin Phillips just some of the names mentioned.

It isn’t any secret that Aston Villa are keen to add new fresh legs to their midfield this summer, with Leeds United’s Kalvin Phillips seemingly being their main target. But could his alternative be a better option for Dean Smith?

The Daily Mail have claimed that Villa have looked at the possibility of signing Angers midfielder Baptiste Santamaria as a possible substitute for Leeds’ main man Phillips. 

But has John McGinn’s signing of last season potentially proven that a player like Santamaria would actually be the better option than the more well-known Phillips? 

McGinn joined Villa last summer from Scottish Premiership side Hibernian. He was unknown to most supporters, and even the likes of Jack Grealish and John Terry have come out and said that they didn’t know who he was when he first arrived.

But with it, the Scotsman brought an unknown and surprise quality to the Villa Park table. He thrived on it, Villa fans jumped on it and the two took it all the way to Wembley to earn promotion. 

Someone like Santamaria, who is 24-years-old, could potentially do the same and it is perhaps a sign for Villa that these types of signings are the ones to go for?

Santamaria is a more defensive-minded player than McGinn, and is of a similar ilk to Phillips. Whilst the Leeds man has experience of English football, they are both in the same boat in the sense that they haven’t played in England’s top-flight before. 

Last season, the Angers man played 38 Ligue 1 matches for his club, scoring one goal [transfermarkt], as his team finished in 13th place. 

Either way, whoever Villa push for, they need cover in that area and it seems as though the player that will deploy that position will not have experience of playing in England’s top-flight, which is a slight risk, but can have great rewards if it goes well. 

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