By Villa News Speaking to Ty Bracey

27th Jul, 2023 | 5:10pm

Aston Villa project key in Moussa Diaby transfer decision as 'waste of talent' Saudi Arabia view emerges

We’re delighted to welcome Aston Villa podcaster Ty Bracey as our exclusive Aston Villa columnist each week he’ll be giving his views on the biggest talking points at the club…

Moussa Diaby would have been “wasted” in the Saudi League while discussions with Unai Emery convinced him to join the project, according to Ty Bracey.

The Frenchman was on the radar of Saudi side Al Nassr before Villa completed the £51.9million deal for him [The Guardian], with the Cristiano Ronaldo-captained side offering him much higher wages.

Despite this, Diaby chose not to follow the likes of Ronaldo, N’Golo Kanté and Jordan Henderson by joining the Saudi league and remains in Europe to join the Premier League and looks set to be a star in Aston Villa’s much-improved team.

Bracey claims that Diaby’s snub of the lucrative Middle Eastern offer shows his dedication to competing at the highest level and reflects the quality of the project at Aston Villa.

Speaking exclusively to Villa News, Bracey said: “He said that he spoke to Monchi and Emery and that was enough for him.

“Emery has a plan for what’s to come at Villa and we need players who are going to believe in the project and want to be a part of that. There’s obviously been a conversation there about the direction Villa are going.

“I’m glad we have these types of players on board who really believe in the project and see big things for us.

“Someone like Diaby, not even in his prime yet and with so much to offer, I think he’d be wasted playing in the Saudi League.

“Players like Jordan Henderson who are moving to Saudi Arabia in the last few years of their career to get that paycheck, I understand that. If someone can go somewhere and earn three-to-four times what they’re earning currently in a league that’s not as good, I can kind of understand it.

“In terms of world league rankings, Saudi is ranked two behind the English League One. Someone who’s only 24 years old and has so much to prove, shouldn’t go.

“You want to get to the end of your career and achieve the highest honours and push yourself as high as you can in club competitions. I think Diaby going to Saudi would’ve been a waste of talent because the standard is way less than what he can offer.

“If he’d have rather gone to Saudi for the money, then I’d think ‘whatever’ if we missed out on him.

“But Diaby has taken the Villa project on board.”

In other Aston Villa news, the club have set their sights on a West Ham-linked midfielder as they bid to boost their midfield options.