With Aston Villa releasing Glenn Whelan and Mile Jedinak this summer, Dean Smith will need at least one player moving in the opposite direction to provide steel in midfield and composure in possession.
One player who has showcased such attributes is Muhamed Besic. The £30k-per-week Everton midfielder spent last season on loan at Middlesbrough and is surplus to requirements at Goodison Park which could be music to Villa’s ears.
The 26-year-old made 39 appearances in all competitions for Boro, scoring and creating seven goals. Besic has amassed 2272 minutes of playing time in the Championship, creating 46 chances and making 53 successful dribbles (62%).
The Bosnia-Herzegovina international has averaged 32 passes-per-game with 86% accuracy, won 33% of his aerial duels, blocked 28 shots/crosses/passes, made 14 clearances and averaged a tackle (50) or interception (22) every 32 minutes.
He’s a combative midfielder who doesn’t relinquish possession cheaply and is capable of driving with the ball from deep. Besic would also provide creativity in the middle of the park and has an affordable asking price of £9m
Whelan and Jedinak’s departure will open the door to a replacement being signed, but whether Besic is on Smith’s radar this summer remains to be seen.
The midfielder’s last Everton appearance came against Apollon Limassol (Europa League) on December 7, 2017 so it’s clear Besic has no future at Goodison Park.
Stats from Transfermarkt.