Note: This article is a continuation of our series on players who could work well at Aston Villa. Note that these are NOT rumours or links, but rather ideas of good fits. For more, see our pieces on Norwich's Wes Hoolahan, USMNT hero John Brooks and free agent Emmanuel Frimpong.
Setting the scene
Villa find themselves in an odd position for the coming season. Having overspent for several years, a poorly managed period of underspending has led to a quality of football not befitting this great club. At a stage where Lerner has finally realised he is doing more harm than good, the club are in limbo as they try to find a buyer. With Lerner looking to avoid spending any more money before leaving, Lambert is forced into a small market for players with low wage demands and minimal transfer fees to improve a struggling squad. Unfortunately the focus in this situation must again be survival.
Why Villa need a winger
The way I see it, Villa still require a starting central midfielder and a left winger in order to compete with the confidence they can avoid the drop. I would be in favour of Ki Sung-Yeung as one of those players, so i'll focus on the winger.
Tonev is not good enough, Cole not quick enough to play wide, N'Zogbia and Grealish look promising but arguably both do their best work in a central role. Weimann and Agbonlahor can fill in, but don't have the required skills to break down a stubborn defence.
Who to target
Villa simply don't have the funds to outright buy a proven quality winger. The bosman market has been exhausted and to buy from a direct competitor will be too expensive. So we must look abroad or for a loan. Naturally for any loan signing these days, Chelsea is a good place to start looking. They stockpile talented young players and with such strength in their first team, those players are often shipped out and never appear for their first team. For example Romelu Lukaku, sold for £28 million this week, never scored a goal for their first team. Normally I would be loath to improve the value of a Chelsea player just to see them leave at the end of the season, but as I mentioned before, this season is about survival.
So who do I believe is the most talented player potentially available on the loan market? Marko Marin. He didn't have the best of seasons at Sevilla, but he is still a quality player. 16 caps for Germany, he sparkled in the Bundesliga before moving to England. He has not been given a squad number by Chelsea for the coming season, which suggests he is certainly available. Paying a percentage of his reported wage of £35,000 per week should not be too much of a stretch. Marin certainly needs to get his career going again and if he proving he really can make it in the Premier League is surely high on his list of priorities.
Why Marin can make an impact
Marin can play from the left, centrally or out wide. He has pace, trickery and his assist statistics in Germany suggest he can really pick out a pass. A potential line of N'Zogbia Grealish Marin behind Benteke is an exciting prospect, giving Villa the ability to break teams down in open play as well as exploiting the counter. As a loan signing he would only cost us his relatively modest (in Premier League and Chelsea terms) wages over the course of the year, so it's not beyond our dreams that Lerner would sanction it. Lambert is a well known aficionado of German football. Is it possible? Do you like it? Let me know below.