By Jonty Banks

15th May, 2023 | 11:10am

Aston Villa hold concrete interest in Giovani Lo Celso, Unai Emery pushing for new transfer - Fabrizio Romano

Giovani Lo Celso could be the first piece of Unai Emery’s transfer business this summer, with Aston Villa holding “concrete interest” in the midfielder’s services, according to Fabrizio Romano.

Emery is expected to severely bolster his Aston Villa squad this summer, with The Sun reporting that he is set to be given a £200million war chest to enter the market with.

The Spaniard previously managed Lo Celso while he was on loan at Villarreal from Spurs, helping the midfielder rediscover his excellent form that saw the north London club splash out £27.2million on his permanent signature in 2020.

And the chances of Lo Celso and Emery reuniting at Villa Park this summer seemingly rests in the hands of Tottenham and their quest for a new manager.

Takin got his personal Twitter account (15 May), transfer guru Romano wrote: “Aston Villa have concrete interest in Giovani Lo Celso and the player would be keen on the move; still waiting to understand who’s gonna be new Tottenham coach as he will return from Villarreal.

“Unai Emery, pushing for Lo Celso; but it’s not the only name on the list.”

Despite only netting a single goal and contributing three assists for Villarreal this term, Lo Celso’s underlying numbers highlights a player ready for a second crack at Premier League football.

According to the Opta-powered stats on FBREF, the Argentine is in the 99th percentile of La Liga midfielders for key passes per 90 minutes (2.49) and the top 1% for expected assists (0.26 per 90).

Lo Celso is a flexible midfielder who is able to play in several positions and is also extremely comfortable playing progressive passes in tight areas of the pitch, something that is key to Emery’s tactical framework.

Over the course of this season, he has averaged 4.34 passes into the final third per 90 – which is more than Douglas Luiz’s average of 3.75 and Boubacar Kamara’s 3.20 – as well as 8.04 progressive passes per game.

Despite the midfielder’s sub-par finishing, which has resulted in a single goal from a far superior non-penalty expected goal involvement of 0.19 per 90, this is something that can be addressed and worked upon under Emery’s guidance.

As long as Aston Villa aren’t priced out of a move for Lo Celso by Daniel Levy, it looks like a match made in heaven for Emery.

In other Aston Villa news, the Villans have been backed to complete one major deal in the summer after an update from Fabrizio Romano.