Reports are coming thick and fast that Jota will make the swap across the City – with Gardner going the opposite way.
Words by Mark Jirobe | @VillaMarkPGH
Reports, tweets and rumours are circulating this evening about a potential swap deal going down in the Midlands.
Aston Villa are supposedly interested in a swap deal involving Gary Gardner, with skilled midfielder Jota going the other way. It is also being reported by various outlets that there is a 4 million pound fee attached to the deal going to Birmingham City. This would be a bit of a coup for Villa, in terms that Jota is miles more athletically gifted than Gardner has ever shown throughout his career. Jota had 3 goals and 11 assists for Birmingham City last year, albeit during a drama filled campaign for the Blues.
Jota has proven he can play as an attacking midfielder through the center or on the right flank throughout his time at Birmingham City, and this is an area of the pitch that needs addressing this summer at Aston Villa. Jota likes to play as somewhat of an inside forward when playing on the right, spearheading attacks and attempting to set up marauding teammates on the opposite side of the pitch. This could play into Dean Smith’s hands, as Villa supporters have seen multiple times through out this past season that crossing the ball from a wide position seems to be Villa’s route to creating chances.
This could be a sign that Blues are trying to alleviate their wage budget in the Championship. Jota is apparently on a higher wage than the BCFC board would like at this stage, and moving him on would help them secure more funds to solidify their team.
Gary Gardner became a fan favorite or sorts for Birmingham City while there on loan last season. Gardner found the back of the net on two occasions and helped the cause with three assists. Aston Villa supporters were not too thrilled about Gardner’s social media posts since his loan to Birmingham City; using “KRO” hashtags throughout the season whenever he uploaded. While it’s most likely a case of a player just wanting to show how invested he is to his loan team, Villa fans do not see that as an excuse.
Aston Villa obviously need to solidify their squad for a Premier League season and this isn’t a bad piece of business to start the summer. For one, Dean Smith used to coach the skillful Spaniard at Brentford. Aston Villa Sporting Director Jesus Garcia Pitarch would also be aware of Jota from when he played for Eibar in Spain, while on loan from Brentford in 2016.