Report: Weston McKennie to Aston Villa – Is this a good move for USMNT star?

It seems like USMNT midfielder Weston McKennie is heading back to the Premier League with a move to Aston Villa reportedly in the works.

Per a report from Fabrizio Romano, Aston Villa and Juventus have agreed a multi-player and cash deal for Douglas Luiz to head to the Italian giants.

The report states that USMNT star McKennie, plus Samuel Iling Jr and $21.4 million, are heading to Villa in exchange for Brazilian midfielder Luiz.

Is this a good move for McKennie?

On paper, yes. In reality, let’s wait and see.

McKennie, 25, struggled massively in his only previous stint in the Premier League when he spent the second half of the 2022-23 season on loan at Leeds United who were subsequently relegated and the American was lambasted for his lack of pace, composure and the fact he couldn’t impact games.

But this is a very different McKennie.

He has been solid and a regular for Juventus during the 2023-24 season and is once again playing with confidence and drive. McKennie playing in Unai Emery’s high-pressing system is a very good fit and both McKennie and USMNT teammate Tyler Adams have long been linked with a move to Villa due to their ability to press in smart ways and then use the ball well when they win it back.

The big question is: how much will McKennie play? With Villa in the Champions League next season they will have a big need for rotation and with Luiz heading out, a spot has opened up in midfield.

But Villa already have John McGinn, Youri Tielemans, Boubacar Kamara, Jacob Ramsey and the returning Emiliano Buendia as central options. Will this move see McKennie start only 10-15 games a season and impact his development? Potentially. But don’t forget that McKennie can also play at right back, out wide and even at center back at a push. That kind of flexibility in a season where Villa could play upwards 55 games will be vital for Emery.

Right now a move to a Villa team trending in the right direction seems like a risk worth taking and McKennie playing under a coach like Emery should only get the best out of him and improve his defensive game and organization. Do it, Weston. What is the worst that could happen?

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