Dutchman not the plan B to Hoolahan to cure Villa’s playmaking troubles
With Wes Hoolahan’s wanted move to Aston Villa now off after a foul-mouthed statement about Norwich, Paul Lambert is being forced to look away from his former club for alternate options to fill the club’s lack of an attacking playmaker.
Norwich would now seemingly let Hoolahan rot in the reserves than sell him for a small sum and this is a blow to Villa, given the 31-year-old looked the only realistic option to occupy a position that has long been a problem.
Nuremberg’s Hiroshi Kiyotake was chased over the summer but was eventually deemed to cost too much and the same problems still seem to exist.
So it is Jens Toornstra of Utrecht that is now seen as the answer to Villa’s lack of midfield creativity, with the current batch of central players contributing no more than one assist each this season.
The problem with Toornstra is that he has also provided only one assist for Utrecht, with his greater ability being scoring goals, rather than providing them.
Toornstra has scored eight times in 20 league starts, with Villa doing a far better job this season in sharing goals around the team, in comparison to the last campaign when a great burden was placed on the shoulders of Christian Benteke.
This is good news for Villa’s trip to Everton, with Villa netting at least twice on each of their last three visits to Goodison Park.
Benteke scored twice last season and arrives with goals in three successive Villa games in the current campaign. Villa are 6/1 to beat Everton and Benteke 11/4 to score in the 90 minutes.
One positive is that Toornstra averages more key passes for Utrecht than anyone on Villa’s books, but there is a danger that the Dutch international could be a flop in the manner of Aleksander Tonev.
Perhaps, Villa would be better looking at Alexandru Maxim, given that Stuttgart are in the bottom half of the Bundesliga.
The 23-year-old Romanian could be available for around £5m and has contributed four goals and six assists in just 13 starts this season in the German top-flight.