Not even the evergreen Ashley Young can defy Father Time for all eternity.
The former England international has continued to roll back the years throughout a highly-impressive season at Aston Villa. But, with his 38th birthday rapidly approaching, it would perhaps be a little naïve for the Midland giants to postpone their pursuit of a long-term replacement for another 12 months. In the hope that Ashley can remain Young by name and Young by nature.
And this is where Denzel Dumfries comes in.
According to Tuttomercatoweb, the former PSV Eindhoven captain is in ‘contact’ with Aston Villa ahead of the summer transfer window. The Midland giants are showing ‘concrete interest’ in Dumfries, one of Europe’s finest right-backs on his day. A man 11 years Young’s junior.
And a cash-strapped Inter Milan are open to a sale. As long as the Dutch international’s £35 million price-tag is met.
Aston Villa reportedly want Inter Milan ace Denzel Dumfries
Aston Villa, on paper at least, may seem like a step down from an Inter side preparing for a Champions League semi-final clash with arch rivals Milan. Serie A winners in 2021.
But Aston Villa these days are an ambitious, upwardly-mobile club under billionaire owners Wes Edens and Nayef Sawiris.
They finally have an elite-level coach in Unai Emery capable of getting the best out of a previously-underachieving squad too; eight wins in 10 meaning European football – and potentially even Champions League football – is a distinct possibility at Villa Park.
Emery’s superb track record when it comes to getting the best out of attack-minded full-backs, meanwhile, is unlikely to pass Dumfries by. Alex Moreno has been outstanding since arriving from Real Betis. Aleix Vidal, Alberto Moreno, Pervis Estupinan and more all played arguably the best football of their careers under the former Sevilla and Villarreal boss; securing big-money moves to Barcelona, Liverpool and Brighton respectively.
Tajon Buchanan heading to San Siro
The all-action, box-to-box Dumfries is very much a full-back tailor-made for Unai-ball. In just two seasons at Inter, the Nerazzuri’s very own Flying Dutchman has produced no fewer than 20 goal involvements. Seven goals and 13 assists.
And it seems that Inter have all-but secured his replacement too.
Belgian publication Het Laaste Niews reports that a deal has been verbally agreed to sign Club Brugge’s Canada international Tajon Buchanan – one of the breakthrough talents at the 2022 Qatar World Cup – for around £13 million, Inter fighting off competition from Leeds United.
This alone does not mean that Dumfries is destined to be wearing claret-and-blue next term. But Buchanan’s arrival should see him take one giant step towards the San Siro exit.