According to reports in Spain, the Midlands outfit are interested in signing the Real Betis playmaker and are prepared to offer around €25m (£21m) for his signature. There have been other Premier League teams mooted with a move for the Frenchman, though, including defending champions Manchester City and Saudi-backed Newcastle United, so sporting director Johan Lange may want to act swiftly if these claims are true. Steven Gerrard has certainly been lacking from some creativity so far this campaign and that problem has extended from the backend of last season.

Philippe Coutinho has struggled to hit the same heights as he did when he first arrived at Villa Park. After joining on an initial loan move from FC Barcelona, the Brazilian provided four goals and three assists in his opening eight matches but in the subsequent 13 games, two of which being this term, he has managed just one goal without providing an assist, as per Transfermarkt.

The 30-year-old is currently Villa’s second lowest-rated player by WhoScored averages for 2022/23 so far and as many as five different players have contributed more key passes created, including his main rival for the role, Emi Buendia (two per game). As such, it could be a wise decision from the Villa staff to bring Fekir into the mix as it would not only hand the manager a solid alternative but he could also wake Coutinho up and realise that his role in the squad isn’t safe.
The Lyon-born 29-year-old has already provided an assist in Betis’ sole LaLiga fixture this campaign and it builds on fine form from 2021/22, where he delivered ten goals and ten assists across 47 appearances – that’s one direct contribution every 196 minutes. Fekir also ranks inside the top 4% of all wingers and attacking midfielders across Europe for shot-creating actions (5.24 per 90) by FBref, who liken his statistical profile to that of Buendia and even Coutinho.