By Jonty Banks

29th May, 2023 | 12:10pm

Aston Villa Women caught off guard in transfer pursuit of Anna Patten as Brighton make approach

Aston Villa Women have been caught napping in their pursuit of Arsenal loanee Anna Patten, with Brighton making an approach to sign the defender this summer.

The 24-year-old has enjoyed an extremely fruitful loan spell under Carla Ward in the West Midlands this season, making 24 starts in all competitions.

As shared by BBC Journalist Emma Sanders on Twitter (28 May), Aston Villa are also “very keen” to sign the centre-back this summer, with her contract at Arsenal due to expire in the upcoming summer transfer window.

However, if Villa thought they were going to have it plain sailing in their transfer pursuit, they were mistaken, with the Seagulls seemingly jumping the gun for Patten’s services and approaching the WSL giants about a permanent signing.

Although Villa may hold the initial edge due to Patten’s highly successful loan spell this campaign, they mustn’t leave anything to chance and strike while the iron is hot.

The defender has proven her quality for Ward this season, proving to be tough competition for both Dan Turner and Rachel Corsie in the heart of Villa’d defence.

With Corsie now at 33-year-old, signing Patten would ensure that the club have a contingency plan if the Scotland international were to plan on moving on to in the next couple of seasons.

During the 2022/23 season, the Gunners loanee won 55 duels from 83 attempted (66% success rate) as well as completing an impressive 84% of her passes (864 from 1033). [AVFC]

The steps taken by Patten this year have been recognised on the international stage, with the centre-back named the England Under-23 captain for the recent international break in March, in which she netted a second-half goal in a 3-1 win against Belgium.

It is clear that Villa’s number 15 is an England international in the making, and the club should dig deep into their pockets to complete her permanent signature this summer.

In other Aston Villa news, the club has been told to sign a new striker amid Ollie Watkins’ ongoing situation at Villa Park.