French newspaper Oueste France is reporting that Aston Villa have agreed to a €10 million fee for the transfer of Jordan Veretout from FC Nantes. The report is yet another in the continuing stream from the French press, and while I'm not ready to say that this is a done deal yet, it seems highly unlikely that we'd be getting this many stories from this many sources if there was nothing there. The €10 million fee is roughly £7.1 million, which is a bargain by Tim Sherwood's Ligue 1 standards this summer.
So what might Villa be getting? As I wrote earlier, Veretout is a box-to-box midfielder somewhat in the mold of Idrissa Gueye. He's a bit more
defensively attack minded than is Gueye, and can easily get forward, as exemplified by his seven goals and six assists in thirty-six Ligue 1 appearances last year. (Note: when I wrote this last night I said defensively minded but that's because I was tired and miswrote. I've thus changed it to be more accurate) But what really stands out to me in the videos that I can find are his combination of pace and control. Don't get me wrong, he doesn't have Gabby Agbonlahor speed, but he can cut through midfields and defenses with ease when he's not on the ball, and he has great confidence when he does have the ball.
The video below gives a good sampling of his skills, but as always: take it with a grain of salt. It's a highlight video, and that's a format that could make even most of us look good. Look for the skills here rather than any individual highlight.
One thing that stands out in particular is that he seems awfully skilled at set pieces. That could be a refreshing addition to an Aston Villa team who haven't had that seemingly in living memory!