Historic Premier League outfit Aston Villa is looking to write a new script under Unai Emery at Villa Park on the back of a memorable run in 2022-23 that saw them climb from a relegation candidate to within one point of a top-six finish, with the club now fully backing the Spanish tactician in the transfer market this summer after completing a move for Moussa Diaby.
The 24-year-old French international developed into one of the top wingers in the Bundesliga during his highly-successful stint at Bayer Leverkusen and brings a serious attacking threat that suits Unai Emery’s tactical remit to the ground.
Paris-born and a product of Paris Saint-Germain’s vaunted academy pipeline, Diaby has earned ten caps for Didier Deschamps’ Les Bleus, bagged 49 goals in 172 appearances across all competitions for Die Werkself at the BayArena, offering a player profile that Emery has long-coveted for the right-wing birth on the tactics board.
Earlier reports that Diaby’s future could lay in the balance in the wake of Roshn Saudi League outfit Al-Nassr tabling a bid and a huge financial package for the goal-scoring winger had some worried that one of the continent’s brightest attacking sparks could be prized away to the Gulf Kingdom, but Diaby’s desire to play in the Premier League had ultimately tipped the balance.
Diaby becomes the third outright purchase by Villa this summer - while breaking the club’s transfer record - after the club did so well to finish just outside of the top six under the highly-experienced Emery, adding the Frenchman to earlier deals for Belgian international midfielder Youri Tielemans (free) as well as Spanish center-back Pau Torres (~£28m).
All three summer moves not only strengthen the spine of the XI at Villa Park but add undeniable attacking talent into the mix that will line up to the right of key striker Olli Watkins and on the opposite flank of former Leverkusen standout Leon Bailey.
In an upcoming 2023-24 league campaign that will see Roberto De Zerbi’s Brighton contend with a first-ever Europa League campaign on the back of losing key tactical pieces this summer, there is scope to suggest that Villa will be capable of pushing for a top-six place for the first time since 2009-10.