Dan Bardell tips Moussa Diaby to be worth £80m after Unai Emery reinvention at Aston Villa
We’re delighted to welcome Sky Sports journalist Dan Bardell as our exclusive Aston Villa columnist as each week he’ll be giving his views on the biggest talking points at the club…
Moussa Diaby could be worth up to £80million after Unai Emery has reinvented him at Aston Villa this season, according to Dan Bardell.
The France international had a bright start to life with Villa after making the £50million from Bayer Leverkusen over the summer, scoring in two of his opening three Premier League games for the club.
Despite the Villans continuing their success on the field and the 24-year-old’s performance levels remaining high, the forward then went six games without getting on the scoresheet.
Bardell admitted he is “surprised” Diaby didn’t join someone like Newcastle United because they are in the Champions League after he has “changed the dynamic” of Emery’s side offensively this season.
Speaking exclusively to Villa News, Bardell said: “I don’t think the drought would have been something that was massively worrying him. He’s not been brought in to be Villa’s primary goalscorer.
“Except for the Wolves game, where he was clearly injured because every time he tried to sprint he was holding his back afterwards, he’s made a massive impact in every game and has really changed the dynamic of how Villa can go forward.
“He’s a real high-level player. I can’t believe Villa have got him. I thought in the summer that he might potentially go to Newcastle because they are in the Champions League or somewhere like that because he’s so good. I was surprised that Villa managed to persuade him and get him in.
“Emery has just completely reinvented him, he’s taken perhaps some of the weaknesses that he would’ve had in his game, maybe the pressing and defensive side of things on the wing and turned him into this second striker. He’s just been incredible.
“I can’t think of a player, who combines the skill and the raw pace that he has in my lifetime, he’s absolutely electric. He’s just been able to completely change the way that Villa play in transition, the way they can attack because he can just carry the ball. He’s so fast, but he’s so skilful as well.
“In the Luton game, he was just drifting around all over the place and he caused them all kinds of problems. I just think for the money Villa paid for him, £50million is, obviously, a lot of money, but I look at some of the money Chelsea and Manchester United have spent to bring in players of a similar ilk and position, he’s better than them.
“He’s probably already worth £80million now if someone was to try and get him off Villa, so I was really pleased with him as a signing. He’s going to go down as a really important player for Villa over the next few years and we’ll look back and say that was a really important signing for the club.”
In other Aston Villa news, a senior man may have quit before he was pushed out of Villa Park by Monchi.