Last season was a tough time to be an Aston Villa supporter. Normally one of the most steady teams in the Premier League, Villa battled relegation right until the final month of the season and narrowly avoided going down to The Championship.
Now, Paul Lambert has started the rebuilding process and has set is sights on Nuremberg’s Japanese midfielder Hiroshi Kiyotake, as reported in The Mirror.
At only 23 years old, Kiyotake joined the Bundesliga outfit only a year ago but was a stand out performer last season as Nuremberg finished comfortably in mid-table. The attacking midfielder is a particularly strong crosser of the ball and contributed to an impressive 10 assists over the course of the 2012-13 campaign.
Villa, in contrast, struggled for a playmaker last season, with youngster Ashley Westwood topping the club’s assist chart with only 6. With Benteke reaffirming his commitment to the club by signing a new contract, Paul Lambert must buy quality players to prove that The Villans match the ambition of the Belgian international.
Kiyotake is the kind of signing that would create an air of excitement around the club and, with 18 caps for Japan already to his name, he is a fantastic prospect for the coming years. Adapting to the Premier League should not be a problem after performing so predominately in the Bundesliga last season.
However, it is understood that Villa will have to stump up around £10 million for his services which could prove to be a stumbling block, with the West Midlands outfit reportedly wanting to pay only £7.5 million.
Lambert, though, will first have to unload the so called deadwood that are taking up valuable squad places with several players expected to depart Villa Park. Only then will funds be released to bring in fresh faces.