Aston Villa are reportedly interested in a deal to sign Oxford United goalkeeper Jack Stevens, according to The Sun on Sunday (25th July, page 62).
Dean Smith’s side had previously been interested in a deal to sign Paulo Gazzaniga, after the goalkeeper was released from Tottenham Hotspur at the end of the 2020/21 season, when his contract reached a conclusion.
But the shot-stopper opted to sign for Fulham on a permanent basis this summer, and he’ll be hoping that he can play his part in the club’s promotion bid this term in the Championship.
This has seen Aston Villa turn their attentions to Stevens, as they look to find a goalkeeper to replace Tom Heaton ahead of the 2021/22 campaign.
Stevens has been with Oxford United since the early stages of his career, and has gone on to make 44 appearances in total for the U’s, having come through to the first-team setup after breaking through their academy system.
The 23-year-old made 39 appearances in all competitions for Oxford United last term, as they finished sixth in the League One table, whilst under the management of Karl Robinson.
Stevens kept 14 clean sheets in the 2020/21 season, although his efforts weren’t quite enough to see them win promotion into the Championship in that campaign, as they were beaten by Blackpool in their play-off semi-final.
Oxford are set to take on newly-promoted Cambridge United in their opening match of the 2021/22 season, in what could potentially be a tricky test for Robinson’s men, especially if Stevens is to head to Villa Park this summer.
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This could turn out to be a smart signing by Aston Villa.
They will have been frustrated to have missed out on signing Paulo Gazzaniga, as he went in search of regular game time in first-team football with Fulham this season instead.
Stevens has shown that he can perform to a relatively high standard whilst with Oxford United, and some will say that he’s probably earned his chance to move to a club at a higher level.
Aston Villa can certainly offer him that, but he’ll have to consider whether it’s the right move in terms of consistent minutes, as he would be playing as Emi Martinez’s understudy if he signed for Dean Smith’s side.