Aston Villa eye former Unai Emery prodigy to replace Philippe Coutinho

Alex Baena of Villarreal CF (Photo by Germán Vidal/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images)
Alex Baena of Villarreal CF (Photo by Germán Vidal/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images) /

Aston Villa haven’t had the best start to the season by their standards. Granted, it’s not been awful as there are some solid foundations for Unai Emery to build on, but to only pick up six points from a possible 12 isn’t great for a side who’d like to qualify for European football again next season.

Emery is one of the best managers to have at the helm when it comes to European football. And with their competition in the Europa Conference League looking manageable, there’s a high chance Villa could win the Conference League. However, they won’t want to rely on this as fate could be out of their hands. Instead, they would like to finish in the top six of the Premier League.

To do so, investing in the January transfer window might be the way to go. Granted, they did make some good signings in the summer, but they lost Philippe Coutinho when it was too late to replace him, so Unai Emery will already have a shortlist of players in his head.

Aston Villa would like to sign former Unai Emery prodigy Alex Baena

According to the latest from Team Talk, Unai Emery has turned to his former prodigy Alex Baena to replace Philippe Coutinho. Emery knows the 22-year-old well from their time together at Villarreal.

Baena is widely regarded as one of the best young players in Spain. Largely, he has Unai Emery to thank for aiding his development. Now that Coutinho has left Villa Park, this could be the perfect opportunity for Emery to reunite with his former talent.

Do you think Aston Villa stand a chance of success this season?