By Jonty Banks

20th Apr, 2023 | 6:10pm

Aston Villa £2million transfer profit for Matt Targett sale and Alex Moreno signing a masterstroke

Alex Moreno has earned rave reviews since his £13million move to Aston Villa in January, having displaced Lucas Digne at left-back and looking a real bargain in Unai Emery’s flourishing side.

The Spaniard has already racked up three assists and six clean sheets from just ten Premier League starts in a claret and blue top and looks a clear upgrade on both Digne and former Villa left-back Matt Targett.

And when considering Aston Villa managed to receive £15million for Targett, including the £3million for his initial loan fee – the £2million profit that Nassef Sawriris and Wes Edens banked after signing Moreno looks even more impressive.

Although the Newcastle left-back never let Villa down to any extent during his three-season stint at Villa Park, Steven Gerrard made his feelings clear when signing Digne from Everton in January 2022 and sanctioning the Englishman’s initial loan move to St James’ Park.

And on the evidence of Targett’s limited game time this season and his far inferior numbers to Moreno’s, this was a masterstroke by the Aston Villa hierarchy.

So far this campaign, Villa’s left-back has recorded 1.2 tackles per game compared to Targett’s 0.9 while registering almost double the number of clearances (1.5 v 0.8). [WhoScored]

Although the Magpies player edges out Moreno for interceptions (0.5 v 0.3), the Spaniard has completed far more dribbles per game (1.1 v 0.6) and a higher number of blocks (0.2 v 0.1).

However, the major differences in class come from the attacking numbers that the former Real Betis man has posted at Villa Park since arriving in the winter window.

Moreno attempts an average of 0.8 shots on goal per outing, compared to Targett’s 0.1, while registering over double the number of key passes (1.5 v 0.6) and already accumulating three assists to his name.

Although Targett was always a steady and dependable outlet down the left flank for both Dean Smith and during his short time working under Gerrard, he never quite possessed the quality to help Villa push into the top half of the Premier League.

From the evidence so far, Moreno looks like a player capable of delivering for Aston Villa on the European stage, whenever that time may come.

In other Aston Villa news, Danny Mills was completely wrong about a “terrible” Villa player after his recent transformation under Emery.