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2019-2020 Player Preview: Wesley

The clear hope is that Aston Villa’s record signing will quickly find goals in the Premier League.

Photo by Nick Potts/PA Images via Getty Images

It finally happened in mid-June, Aston Villa signed a Brazilian footballer. After it was evident that the claret and blue were not going to keep Tammy Abraham as their striker, the club spent a record £22.5 million to bring in Wesley from Club Brugge.

Standing 6ft3in ( 1.91m) ‘Big Wes’ – has an incredible backstory that is a must read.

If you are in fact into the whole brevity thing, the 22-year-old’s rise to the Premier League has been fairly rapid and filled with adversity. It is something that should only exacerbate Villans desire to see him find early and lasting success at Villa Park.

That leads to the question surrounding the Brazilian striker – is he ready for the big time? Wesley’s clip of 38 goals with 14 assists in 138 appearances for Club Brugge has drawn a fair amount of skepticism from pundits and supporters alike. In addition, some of the analytical data on ‘Big Wes’ has seemed to compound concerns.

However, Wesley was named Belgian Young Professional Footballer of the Year in 2018. That award is indicative of the word that seems to summarize Villa’s new man up top – potential.

Having only been trained as a striker since age 17, Wesley is still relatively raw in terms of the position. But it is his combination of pace, power as well as ability on the ball that makes him so intriguing – and potentially dangerous. When on the pitch in Aston Villa’s preseason, he showed enough of that combination to suggest he could well become Dean Smith’s talisman:

Whilst there are plenty of rumours regarding another striker coming to the B6, Wesley is currently competing with Keinan Davis, Jonathan Kodjia and – not likely – Scott Hogan for the starting job. With that said, as long as he’s recovered from his preseason knock, it looks to be his come Saturday at Spurs.

Deano’ said this of Wesley:

He’s a big kid, a handful. He’s going to be a handful. He’s got good movements. I think he’s going to be good.”

It would be ‘marvelous’ – couldn’t resist – to see ‘Big Wes’ continue his rapid rise and come good this season.