Ian Maatsen joins Aston Villa, but who should leave: Digne or Moreno?

Ian Maatsen
Ian Maatsen / Soccrates Images/GettyImages

Aston Villa's recent acquisition of Ian Maatsen from Chelsea for a staggering £37.5 million has ignited a heated debate over the future of the club's current left-backs, Lucas Digne and Alex Moreno. With Maatsen's arrival, Aston Villa faces a crucial decision: who will make way for the new signing?

Lucas Digne

Lucas Digne
Aston Villa v Liverpool FC - Premier League / Copa/GettyImages

Lucas Digne, the 30-year-old French international, has been a steadfast presence in Villa's defence. His 2023/24 season stats underscore his experience and consistency. Digne made 33 appearances in the Premier League, scoring 1 goal and providing 3 assists.

He contributed to 6 clean sheets, made 44 tackles, 25 interceptions, and 56 clearances, playing a total of 2,413 minutes. Despite receiving 7 yellow cards, Digne's ability to deliver accurate crosses and his defensive solidity make him a valuable asset.

Alex Moreno

Alex Moreno
Brighton & Hove Albion v Aston Villa - Premier League / Bryn Lennon/GettyImages

On the other hand, Alex Moreno, 31, has demonstrated promise with his dynamic playstyle. In the 2023/24 season, Moreno made 21 appearances in the Premier League, scoring 2 goals but failing to provide any assists. He also contributed to 6 clean sheets, made 18 tackles, 21 interceptions, and 32 clearances, playing a total of 1,028 minutes. His ability to contribute to both defence and attack, along with his effectiveness in progressive carries and take-ons, makes him a dynamic option on the left flank.

So who should leave the club?

Ian Maatsen, at just 22 years old, brings youth and potential to the squad. His performances on loan at Borussia Dortmund, where he helped the team reach the Champions League final, have been impressive. Maatsen's ability to play in high-stakes matches and his versatility make him a valuable addition to Aston Villa.

Given the stats and the current scenario, the decision on who should leave between Lucas Digne and Alex Moreno hinges on several factors. Age and future potential are crucial considerations. Digne, at 30, is slightly younger than Moreno, who is 31. However, Digne's experience and consistent performance make him a more reliable option. Both players have had their share of injuries, but Digne's recent fitness record has been better.

Playing style is another important factor. While Moreno's dynamic play style is valuable, Digne's defensive solidity and ability to deliver accurate crosses are crucial for the team's balance. Considering these factors, it might be more prudent for Aston Villa to retain Lucas Digne and let Alex Moreno leave.

Digne's experience, consistent performance, and ability to contribute both defensively and offensively make him a more suitable mentor for the young and promising Ian Maatsen. This combination could provide Villa with a balanced and versatile left flank, crucial for their ambitions in both domestic and European competitions.

While both Lucas Digne and Alex Moreno have their merits, the decision should lean towards retaining Digne. His experience, consistent performance, and compatibility with Maatsen's style could offer Villa the edge they need to compete at the highest levels.