Aston Villa's newest signing, Jores Okore comes to Birmingham as a player with whom many (most?) fans are unfamiliar. The 20-year-old Danish defender has been a key part of FC Nordsjaelland's strong run in the Danish Superliga the past few years.
Last season, Nordsjaelland played Chelsea in the Champion's League group stages, and Okore was reportedly headed to the London club in January, but rejected the deal because he wanted more playing time than he would get. Since he has seen the Dane play and had to assess the value of adding him to Chelsea, I decided to ask Graham MacAree, the editor of SB Nation's Chelsea blog We Ain't Got No History, what he thought of our newest signing. Here's what he wrote:
Jores Okore is a promising player. When Chelsea went up against Nordsjaelland in Denmark, he was the only thing that kept the hosts in the match. He's fast, big, strong and good in the air -- he pretty much has all the tools you would want from a central defender. At 20, he's still making positioning errors, and he'll probably have a tough time dealing with Premier League attacks which feature more mobile strikers, but he's good enough to play now and could get much much better, even over the course of next season.
Essentially, he's a defensive version of what Christian Benteke was last summer. A lot of promise based around physicality but some questions over whether or not he can make the leap. If he manages, he'll be outstanding. I'm not saying he'll be as successful as Benteke has been. Every player is a gamble. But Okore is going to be relatively cheap, both in terms of transfer fee and wages, and his upside is such that this is a very good deal for Villa.
Basically, he has the potential to be Aston Villa's best defender. There's a lot of room for improvement there, and the dominance won't come immediately. Nevertheless, we should all be very excited. If you'd like to see Okore in action, check out this highlight package of his match against Chelsea in October that Andrew found.
What are your thoughts on the newest Aston Villa defender? Let us know in the comments!