Aston Villa targeting Rangers defender Borna Barisic: Right move for the Lions?

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As per recent reports, Aston Villa is eyeing a move for Rangers left-back Borna Barisic. Villa boss Steven Gerrard is highly interested to reunite with his former team’s defender, in the Premier League.

While Barisic is not a very established player, he was still Gerrard’s top-choice LB at the Scottish team. The manager and player have a good relationship, having won the Scottish Premiership last season together.

The Villans are hoping to seal an £8m deal for the Croatia international. With the club already having Matt Targett as their starting LB, Barisic will have to make a decent amount of impression to be the first choice.

The 29-year-old defender is in top form this season. He has produced a number of stunning displays for the Rangers. The Croatia international has been impressive in both the team’s attack and defence. In a total of 13 appearances across all competitions this season, Barisic has got two assists.

Averaging 1.5 tackles, 0.5 interceptions, 3.0 clearances, and 2.3 key passes per 90 minutes in the Scottish Premiership, the player has truly deserved his spot in the team. An 81.2% pass rate is enough to show the player’s potential to drive the game and play the ball around efficiently (stats via WHOSCORED).

With strong crossing and ball-playing ability, Barisic has proved that he can play on both sides of the pitch. A good holder of the ball, the player has a good presence of things around him and whenever he gets the chance, he releases the ball to create big chances. He is also a set-piece threat, in both direct and indirect ones. However, the Croatian is deemed mostly as a defensive left-back in the team.

He has also played for Croatia registering 1 goal and 2 assists in 23 caps for his international side.

How can Villa benefit from Barisic?

A defensively solid Barisic is a very reliable defender down the left flank. He often clears the ball efficiently when at risk of losing possession around his penalty box. Even though tackling is not his best attribute, he still does not shy away from making one.

Having coached the Croatian during his spell at Rangers, Steven Gerrard knows the player well. It is a no-brainer that the former Liverpool legend is the man who can get the best out of Barisic. The player’s defensive solidarity can be an ideal fit for the team and give a good competition to Targett, who now mostly plays as a defensive full-back with his right-back partner Matty Cash now more on the offensive side.

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