Aston Villa eye Belgian midfielder as Conor Gallagher alternative

As it appears more likely with time that Conor Gallagher is unlikely to leave Chelsea and move to Villa Park, Villa have identified an alternative signing from another fellow Premier League club.

According to reports, Aston Villa have made initial enquiries to sign Amadou Onana from Everton. Having already completed a deal to sign Ross Barkley from Luton Town as well as the likely incomings of Weston McKennie and Samuel Iling-Junior from Juventus, Villa are looking to continue adding to their squad ahead of a Champions League campaign.

With a big hole about to be left in the Aston Villa midfield due to the imminent departure of Douglas Luiz to Juventus, the club have been pursuing a potential deal for Chelsea's Conor Gallagher. However, it is looking increasingly unlikely that Gallagher will leave the London club and therefore Villa have turned their attention to Onana.

Conor Gallagher
Chelsea FC v West Ham United - Premier League / Justin Setterfield/GettyImages

Onana featured in 37 appearances across all competitions for Everton last season, scoring three goals. The defensive midfield powerhouse, who stands tall at 6ft 4, is not known for his attacking capabilities, but more for his ability to break up play, win aerial duels and put in a high number of tackles. Should Villa turn their initial interest into a formal proposal it is likely they would need to stump up around £50 million for Onana, similar to Gallagher's price.

When comparing the two players, it is clear that Gallagher is someone who likes to get higher up the pitch and have a greater influence in attack. Hence why the Chelsea man scored a higher number of goals and achieved more assists (7 goals, 9 assists across all comps.). When you look at the defensive stats, this is how the two compared last season.

Aerial duel success

Tackles won

Tackles per game

Possession lost per game

Conor Gallagher





Amadou Onana





Douglas Luiz is a player who has provided defensive stability as well as an eye for goal and high ability at set pieces over the years and it's therefore difficult to find a player to replace all his attributes. However, it may be a more sensible investment to buy Onana due to the sheer physical dominance he can provide in midfield. Villa are a small team in terms of size and defending set pieces were a huge issue for the team last season.

Onana would provide an aerial threat in attack as well as physical presence in defence which Villa didn't have last season. If Villa could sign another attacking midfielder that possesses the dead ball ability similar to Luiz, then Villa would be potentially more inclined to sign Onana to assist or cover Boubacar Kamara. Kamara is unlikely to return to the team until October at the earliest following his ACL injury last season.

The young Belgian international has attracted interest from Villa as well as other clubs like Arsenal following an impressive season at Goodison Park. It is likely that his future will be resolved quickly following the conclusion of Euro 2024.