This article is part of Football League World’s ‘The Verdict’ series, which provides personal opinions from the FLW writers regarding the latest breaking news, teams, players, managers, potential signings and more…
Aston Villa are believed to be interested in a deal to sign Norwich City midfielder Todd Cantwell according to The Daily Mail.
Cantwell has caught the eye with a number of impressive performances this season for the Canaries, who have recently won promotion back into the Premier League at the first time of asking.
He has made 32 appearances in all competitions so far for Daniel Farke’s side, and has chipped in with six goals and six assists as they sit top of the Championship table.
But a move to Villa Park with Aston Villa could tempt Cantwell, with Dean Smith’s side impressing in the Premier League during this year’s campaign.
Villa are likely to be in the market for a potential replacement for Jack Grealish, with the Daily Mail reporting the club are braced for a bid from Manchester City during the summer transfer window.
But would Cantwell be a good signing for Aston Villa ahead of the 2021/22 season?
Cantwell is a really talented player but would he fit in at Villa? I’m not sure.
He mainly plays off the left cutting inside and that’s the role that Jack Grealish excels at, and unless Grealish himself is getting sold this summer then it’s doubtful that Cantwell would get lots of game-time at Villa Park.
In terms of depth as well Villa are doing just fine as well out wide, with Grealish, Bertrand Traore, Anwar El Ghazi and Trezeguet available as options.
I think Villa could do with strengthening other areas rather than out wide and whilst Cantwell is a good player, I think he would be best suited to staying at Norwich right now.
I’m not sure he’s good enough to be a Grealish replacement to be honest.
Cantwell is a good player who has had a positive season in the Championship.
He hasn’t got the amount of goals and assists he perhaps would have liked, but that doesn’t tell the whole story at all and his performances have been excellent.
Villa will have different ambitions compared to Norwich next season, though, and I’m not sure whether he’s ready for that type of move just yet.
He’s still young, though, and he has plenty of potential which would make him an exciting long-term option.
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Cantwell is certainly ready to return to the Premier League and he could be a player to watch out for in the top-flight next term whoever he is playing for. He will be hoping he can add more goals and assists to his game to go with the general good work he does on and off the ball in the final third.
Aston Villa’s style of play under Dean Smith would certainly be well suited to Cantwell and you could see him combining well with the likes of Ollie Watkins, John McGinn and even Jack Grealish if he was to still be at Villa Park alongside the 23-year-old.
The attacker has not at times been at his best this season, but has still been involved in ten goals in his 31 Championship appearances. He thrived in the top-flight last term and seems to be a player that responds well to the extra attention placed on players in the Premier League.
If Villa could get the best out of him, then it would be an excellent signing for the long-term. However, Norwich will likely be wanting to do all they can to keep hold of him. That suggests it will take a large transfer fee from Smith’s side to get him.