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Aston Villa look to Australia’s Trent Sainsbury to boost defensive depth

It seems like Villa are scouting the World Cup as they look to bring in one of Australia’s better performers

Denmark v Australia: Group C - 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia Photo by Michael Steele/Getty Images

According to reports in this morning’s Sun newspaper, and via Sun journalist Alan Nixon, it appears that Aston Villa are one of many clubs looking into a deal for Australian international centre-half Trent Sainsbury.

The centre-back is currently honing his craft at Jiangsu Suning Football Club out of Nanjing in the Chinese Super League but is, according to Nixon, ready to take a move to English footballer on a lower wage if it is ‘right’ for him.

Sainsbury has impressed so far at the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia, and reports from Spain say that no less than 26 clubs across the world are interested in him. If that is true (and it likely isn’t), then Aston Villa will need to make one hell of an offer to ensure Trent takes a place at a second-tier club, when it is likely that Europa League football, at the least, may be on the cards. One other thing. Players who have come out of a major football tournament with good form are almost always heavily over-valued. Sainsbury’s market price is quite low, but expect that to double, or triple should other clubs come in for him. He’ll be in demand, that’s for sure.

Sainsbury is a defender in the mould of James Chester, and at the age of 26 has captained Australia when regular captain Mile Jedinak is not around. He’s classy, plays out from the back and is solidly disciplined, while being strong in the air. He’s prone to the occasional lapse of judgement, but that is true of every defender to have ever played the game bar a select few. Recently, he has spent time on loan in Europe over the past few years, including two short spells at both Inter Milan and Grasshopper Club Zürich. His contract with JSFC is up at the end of the year.

It’d be a minor miracle if he can be lured to Aston Villa at this point, and any transfer that would bring a player of the calibre of Sainsbury to the club while off-the-pitch confusion still hangs over Villa, is to be celebrated. Keep your eye on this move.