It's feeling more and more like an inevitability that Aston Villa will lose Christian Benteke this summer, likely to Liverpool. But once last season's top-scorer leaves, Tim Sherwood may already have a replacement in mind. A report in the Mirror (so you know, take it with a grain of salt) has linked Villa to FC Basel and Switzerland wunderkind Breel Embolo. The 18-year-old, who already has three Switzerland caps, is valued at somewhere in the £10 million range.
Last season, in forty-two appearances, Embolo found the back of the net seventeen times and added thirteen assists across all competitions. He's already gotten a Champions League goal to his name, opening his account in that competition on November 4 against Ludogorets Razgrad.
If (when?) Benteke leaves, he'll be bringing in a lot of money for Villa, so the fee of £10 million shouldn't worry us too much. Assuming things go as they should, Benteke's fee will get reinvested and £10 million will be just a small part of that.
And what would Villa be getting? Take a look at the highlights of Embolo's time with Basel here. As always, the caveat that this is a highlight video (a medium in which anyone can look good) applies:
What I think you do get a sense of here, though, is that Breel has confidence in spades and has the technical skill to back it up. His playing style reminds me a bit of Christian Benteke's, but with a lot more fancy footwork added in.
At this point, it's nothing more than a rumour without too much backing it. But to my eyes it's a pretty fun rumour. Young, exciting striker who could be the type of player around whom Villa build. So what do you think? Is Breel the solution for a Benteke replacement or should Sherwood be looking elsewhere?