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Former Chelsea star winger may make move to Aston Villa

Aston Villa are possibly looking at a 33-year-old former Chelsea star. Would he be a good fit?

Paolo Bruno

You know the old saying: if you can't routinely beat them, buy the players who used to feature regularly for them. At least I think that's how it goes. Aston Villa are being linked with Florent Malouda who featured regularly for Chelsea between 2007and 2012, and then made a mess of his transfer request only to be sent away at the first possible opportunity. Malouda is most commonly played as a left winger, though he sometimes drops back a bit into the midfield. Under Carlo Ancelotti he was routinely the left side of a diamond midfield.

At 33 years old, Malouda doesn't really fit the mold of players Aston Villa have brought in recently. Nor does he fill a need in the club. Yes, they could use a creative midfielder, but Fabian Delph has the left side pretty well locked up, and Gabby Agbonlahor, though he's really a striker, gets played on the left wing a lot. Would Malouda be an upgrade over Agbonlahor? Probably. In 29 total appearances with Turkish side Trabzonspor he's scored seven goals and added nine assists. But he will turn 34 this summer, and is known to demand pretty high wages. 

Perhaps Villa could use him as a mentor for Jack Grealish, who also plays on the left wing. Grealish is coming off of a successful loan in League One, but if the club decide to keep him around next season, it wouldn't be a terrible idea to have someone with whom he could work regularly. 

I just don't see the fit here. He might take a wage cut to return to the more competitive world of the Premier League, but I'm not sure if Villa is the right place for him. To be clear, signing Malouda wouldn't be bad in the abstract. But he doesn't really fit with what is happening at the club. I wouldn't put too much stock in this one.