Aston Villa season in review: Leandro Bacuna

Leandro Bacuna completed his fourth season with the claret and blues. The Aston Villa jack-of-all trades started nearly half of all league matches in the Championship in 2016/2017.

CM/RM/RB – Leandro Bacuna, 25

Appearances: 22 + (8)

WhoScored Aggregate: 6.58

Goals/Assists: 1/2

Leandro Bacuna made starts in seven different positions in 2016/2017, according to WhoScored. Not including substitute appearances, Bacuna made: six starts in center midfield, four at right back, three in left midfield, three in right midfield, two apiece on both wing positions, and two as a defensive midfielder.

Wow.

The Dutch-born, Curaçao international player did not contribute too much offensively. Bacuna scored a singular goal with two assists. Moreover, he contributed under one shot per match. As a whole, Bacuna completed 73.6% of his passes on the season – a fair average.

Leandro Bacuna forever confounds me as footballer. He’s quite skilled in many facets of the game, but it rarely shows on match day. At his best, Bacuna is a highly athletic midfielder – capable of filling a box-to-box role. Furthermore, he’s a skilled crosser of the ball and has shown the ability to strike set pieces in the past. His defensive technique, while not great, is also neither a huge liability when thrust into a fullback role. (Friendly reminder Bacuna played a few matches at left back in the Premier League last season).

The problem remains consistency. He can’t quite string together consistent starts.

He’s survived at Villa through several managers; each one appreciating his workmanlike attitude and adept versatility.

I see it no differently going forward. Leandro Bacuna enters year three of a five year deal he signed under Tim Sherwood in the summer of 2015.

2017-2018 Prediction: There’s at least a 25% chance Leandro Bacuna is sold in the summer. I think in an ideal world, Steve Bruce would like to free up squad space and funds by moving Bacuna elsewhere. The problem, however, is enticing a club to offer a similar pay package to the one he has at Aston Villa. His market value is in the vicinity of £2-4 million.

If nothing else, Bacuna is a sure thing on the bench given his tremendous versatility.