Aston Villa News: Scary Villa XI with Luis Suarez as ‘focused’ forward on Gerrard reunion | Soccer | sport
Luis Suarez is reportedly ‘focused’ on reuniting with former teammates Steven Gerrard and Philippe Coutinho at Aston Villa, but any move will have to wait until the summer. This is when the Uruguayan’s contract with Atletico Madrid comes to an end and Diego Simeone’s side are expected to move in a different direction as the 34-year-old’s goalscoring has seemingly dried up.
Suarez scored 21 goals in 32 appearances last season after being dropped by Barcelona to help fire Atletico to the title.
His goals were worth 21 La Liga points and Villa boss Gerrard is said to be keen to try and lure Suarez back to the Midlands for one last Premier League hurrah.
The pair came close to helping Liverpool clinch their first ever Premier League title in 2013/14 under Brendan Rodgers and their bond remains strong.
And reports from Spain claim that Suarez has already rejected offers from Palmeiras, Corinthians and Atletico Mineiro in Brazil as part of his plan to join Villa this summer.
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Beyond that, John McGinn and Jacob Ramsey are expected to play as two No.8s in Gerrard’s 4-3-3 system.
But it’s in the first three that things get really interesting…
Philippe Coutinho may only be on loan at the moment but his contract at Barcelona is up at the end of the season.
Therefore, if he continues to impress under Gerrard, Villa are expected to offer him a permanent contract.
Coutinho should operate from the left, as he did at Liverpool, cutting inside and firing with his right foot.
He barely needed time to adjust to his new surroundings, assisting and scoring from the bench on his debut.
It’s the kind of form that will likely earn him a permanent switch and potentially a place alongside Suarez in attack.
The arrival of the former Liverpool attacking duo could, however, have adverse consequences for Danny Ings, Emiliano Buendia and Leon Bailey.
Villa are still short of a right-winger, but Ollie Watkins has shown he is capable of playing anywhere on the front line as of late.
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The England international could slot into the right side of the attack or failing that, Gerrard could switch to a 4-3-1-2 system.
Leon Bailey has also failed to catch up after battling injuries since joining from Bayer Leverkusen in the summer.
The Jamaican could still work his way into the reckoning, but his potential absence from the starting XI highlights the immense strength from depth that Gerrard is slowly building at Villa Park.
Having the likes of Buendia, Ings, Morgan Sanson, Ashley Young, Matt Targett and Marvelous Nakamba could prove essential if Villa aspire to make Europe.
Potential Aston Villa XI (4-3-3): Martinez; Cash, Konsa, Mings, Worthy; Luiz, Ramsey, McGinn; Watkins, Coutinho, Suarez.