Aston Villa have completed their first signing of the summer with the arrival of Matty Cash.
The 23-year-old right-back arrives from Nottingham Forest for a reported fee of £14 million, potentially rising to £16 million in future add-ons.
The young English right-back has gathered many admirers over the last two years. It is believed that Villa have beaten both West Ham United and Fulham to Cash’s signature.
He arrives to compete with current right-backs Frederic Guilbert and Ahmed Elmohamady. With Guilbert being more of a defence-minded option and Elmohamady entering the final year of his contract, Cash adds an extra injection of attacking flair that has been missing from Villa’s play over the last season.
Villa’s wide players proved to be a source of frustration for Dean Smith during the 2019/20 season. Trezeguet came up with three massive goals to contribute six points to Villa’s survival bid but was largely ineffective for much of the season. Anwar El Ghazi and Jota also proved to be frustrating for Villa, with Jack Grealish having to go on the wing for much of the season.
Villa’s most effective natural wide player last season was arguably left-back Matt Targett. While he was questionable in defence, he would often bomb up the pitch to support the midfielders and drill in dangerous crosses for the strikers to tap in. Cash is a similar type of player and fits Dean Smith’s mould for a full-back perfectly.
This explains why Villa acted quicker to meet Forest’s asking price than their rivals, but Cash himself was the catalyst behind the speed of the move.
A dream come true
While he isn’t a Villa fan, Cash has already spoken on his admiration for the club and how he wanted to sign for the Birmingham giants.
Speaking after the deal was completed, Cash described a conversation with his agent after Villa registered their interest:
“My agent rang me and said that Villa were interested, and immediately it was the place I wanted to come to. I said, ‘don’t even worry about anything else, I want to come here and play’.”
Cash also described his admiration for the club and its size in his first interview
“It’s such a big football club. The fanbase, the stadium, every time I played here before in the past I just think ‘wow!’. It sells itself”
Cash is no stranger to scoring at the Holte End, bagging Forest’s third goal in a crazy 5-5 draw at Villa Park in November 2018.