Liverpool and Tottenham have been linked with Aston Villa centre-back Ezri Konsa, who has been a key figure in Villa achieving the joint second best defensive record in the Premier League so far this season.
Konsa started out at Charlton after being spotted playing for famous London boys club Senrab, where John Terry, Jermain Defoe and Ledley King are among the alumni, and spent a season at Brentford before Villa paid around £12m for him upon their promotion in 2019.
The 23-year-old had to wait for his chance at Villa last season and later spent a chunk of ‘Project Restart’ at right-back. But he has emerged as a key man in 2020/21, starting all but two of Villa’s 22 Premier League in what has been a strong campaign for the club as a whole.
As is usually the case, Konsa’s form has not gone unnoticed. The Athletic writes that Villa want to extend the player’s contract beyond its current expiry in 2023, but Liverpool and Tottenham are keeping an eye on things with a view to potentially acting in the summer transfer window.
The report explains that Spurs in particular have been interested in Konsa since his Brentford days, having considered him a possible replacement for Toby Alderweireld in the summer of 2019. In the end, Alderweireld stayed put, but Spurs are once more looking for defensive reinforcements.
Liverpool reluctantly dipped into the market for two centre-backs in January. But Ozan Kabak is only on loan from Schalke and there is no obligation to make it a permanent deal, while Ben Davies arrived as a cheap stop-gap with little hope of a long-term future at Anfield.
Having decided against replacing Dejan Lovren last year, Liverpool had been planning to focus their long-term defensive recruitment on the upcoming summer transfer window. Virgil van Dijk could be 30 before he fully recovers from his ACL injury and preparing for the future is important.
Konsa could yet end up playing his way into England’s European Championship squad this summer. National team boss Gareth Southgate has a number of options and there is no fixed defensive unit, meaning that his continued form might be rewarded with a call-up.
The player was born in London and has played for England at junior level, although The Athletic notes that he remains eligible to represent DR Congo or Angola through his parents, while the Angolan side of his family would also make him eligible for Portugal selection.
Meanwhile, Manchester United were rumoured last week to have put Konsa’s Villa centre-back partner Tyrone Mings on their own list of potential summer options.
Source : 90min