By Jonty Banks

31st Mar, 2023 | 8:30pm

Aston Villa star Jhon Duran debut for Colombia may have left Liverpool watching on in anguish

Liverpool’s hierarchy may have been watching on with heads in hands as Aston Villa forward Jhon Duran exploded onto the international stage and scored on debut for Colombia earlier this week. 

The 19-year-old, who sealed an £18million million move to Villa Park in the January transfer window, has been used sparingly by Unai Emery in the Premier League but capped off a superb debut for his country with a well-taken goal against a Japan side fresh off their positive campaign at the Qatar World Cup.  

Duran’s first start in Colombian colours earlier this week once again highlighted the sky-high potential he possesses and why the likes of Liverpool were interested in his services in the winter window. 

Prior to the January window, Italian journalist Raffaele Amato, who writes for Calciomercato, shared that the Reds had made “concrete moves” for Duran, who at the time was under the employment of MLS side Chicago Fire.

And after a mixed start to life at Anfield for Cody Gakpo, missing out on Duran could come back to haunt the Premier League giants in the long run. 

During the 2-1 win on Tuesday (28 March), Duran got off to a flying start, scoring his goal, registering three passes into the final third, winning two ground duels and creating one chance in the first half alone. [SofaScore]

Overall, before his substitution in the 81st minute, the Villa striker registered a total of three key passes as well as winning 100% of his aerial duels – a major strength of the teenager’s game that has shone through in his early days at Villa Park. 

What was also interesting to note was the wide positioning that Duran took up in Colombia’s starting line-up. 

With Jorge Carrascal starting as a lone striker, the Villa man was forced to play off the right-hand side, a position that didn’t look too dissimilar to the role of Leon Bailey in Emery’s 4-4-2 system. 

If Duran can perfect his trade in this wider attacking role, a call-up alongside the bang-in-form Ollie Watkins is only going to be around the corner.

At just 19, and taking into account the brief glimpses of explosive power and pace that Duran has displayed for both club and country, Liverpool might come to rue the missed opportunity to snap up the Villa forward.  

In other Aston Villa news, one player has no future at the club and should be shipped out ASAP.