Aston Villa Eyeing Swoop For £8.9k-p/w “Natural Goalscorer”

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Aston Villa are interested in bringing Santos star Marcos Leonardo to the Premier League this summer, according to Sky Sports reporter Gianluca Di Marzio.

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Who is Marcos Leonardo?

Leonardo is primarily a striker who has plied his trade at the Urbano Caldeira Stadium since his childhood days, having graduated from the club’s academy to get promoted to the first team three years ago. Across all age levels, he’s made 149 appearances to date.

The Brazil youth international’s contract isn’t set to expire until 2026, but having firmly established himself as Paulo Turra’s top-performing offensive player so far this season, he’s already attracted plenty of interest from several high-profile clubs in England.

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Tottenham Hotspur, Arsenal and Nottingham Forest have all been linked with a swoop for the 20-year-old during the ongoing window, but with a move having yet failed to come to fruition, NSWE & Monchi have seemingly decided to enter the running in the hope of securing his services.

Unai Emery already has Ollie Watkins, Jhon Duran and Cameron Archer as his options at centre-forward, but with Wesley Moraes having completed a permanent move to Stoke City, not to mention that Keinan Davis has told the club that he wants to leave, the boss appears to be dipping into the market to find some new reinforcements.

Are Aston Villa signing Marcos Leonardo?

Taking to Twitter on Wednesday, Di Marzio name-checked Aston Villa as one of the clubs keeping close tabs on Leonardo, but admitted that as it stands, AS Roma are the team currently in pole position to land him. He wrote:

“#SerieA #Calciomercato | @OfficialASRoma, today is the decisive day for #MarcosLeonardo : the @SantosFC has to say whether or not he accepts the Giallorossi’s offer. On the attacker there are also @AVFCOfficial and @NFFC, but the player has given priority to #Roma @SkySport.”


How good is Marcos Leonardo?

According to football talent scout Jacek Kulig, Leonardo is a “natural goalscorer” which is proven by his return so far this season having posted eight goal contributions (six goals and two assists) in 12 Serie A appearances, so should the striker put pen to paper, it would be an exciting coup for Aston Villa.

Sponsored by Nike, Santos’ £8.9k-per-week earner has also recorded a total of 28 shots over the course of the current campaign which is more than any of his fellow teammates, via FBRef, alongside being awarded two man-of-the-match accolades for his outstanding performances.

The Itapetinga native is additionally a versatile operator having previously been deployed on the left side of the midfield and out wide on the left wing alongside his usual role through the middle, so his ability to play in three different positions makes him a great option for the manager to have at his disposal.

Emery will undoubtedly begin the 2023/24 campaign with Watkins as his main attacker once again so Leonardo could find it hard to nail down a starting spot if the boss only opts to have one centre-forward up top, but he is definitely someone who could seriously push the former to up his game even more and compete for a regular place in the squad.