Everything is suddenly taking a South American flavour at Aston Villa, as fresh on the heels of Colombian Carlos Sanchez’s arrival comes reports of interest in Argentine Sebastian Blanco.
Villa have never had a player from Argentina represent them in the Premier League and an attacking midfielder with some creativity would certainly not go amiss, especially with Joe Cole unlikely to play more than three games in a row without getting injured.
Despite beating Stoke at the Britannia Stadium on the opening day, something which only three teams did in the Premier League last season, survival is still the leading aim of Aston Villa.
Blanco’s ability to take players on and general nimbleness through being so small are assets that will help see Villa safe, although Ladbrokes are still offering the top industry price of 5/1 that they are relegated.
Blanco made great waves in his younger days at Lanus in Argentina, helping the club to the 2007 Apertura and has since performed with credit at Metalist Khirkov in the Ukraine.
However, although Metalist have finished in the top three in each of his seasons, they have not been able to break the domestic stranglehold of Shakhtar Donetsk.
The problem now is that Blanco is refusing to go back to the Ukraine because of the unrest in the country, which should also help Villa drive down his asking price.
If Villa fans are looking for a comparison, the best may prove Andrés D’Alessandro, who joined Portsmouth on loan for the second half of the in 2005/06 campaign.
The two attacking midfielders are similar in size and stature and both left Argentina for bigger money in Europe before heading to the Premier League. D’Alessandro headed to Wolfsburg.
D’Alessandro’s Portsmouth stint has to be regarded as a success, as the south coast club were stationed in the relegation zone for the majority of the season until they took 20 points from their final 10 games to beat the drop by a single position.
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