Villa eyeing up Matheus Pereira
Getty Images/Alex Livesy

According to Steve Madeley of The Athletic, Aston Villa are understood to be among the Premier League clubs monitoring the 24-year-old midfielder from Brazil. Despite a disappointing season from West Brom, Matheus Pereira has been a stand out performer for the black country side and has certainly caught the eye of many clubs who will be playing Premier League football next season.  

Pereira has nine goals to his name so far this season, including some top draw efforts at Chelsea and Everton away, respectively. One of these from a free-kick, showcasing his ability from dead-ball situations - something that has been lacking at Villa Park in recent years. A lovely finish at Chelsea in which he lobbed the keeper also proves he has an eye for goal and can contribute in more than one way from the midfield.

Would Pereira fit into this Villa squad?

There is no doubt that Pereira is good enough to play consistent Premier League football. In the midfield three for Villa, he would offer some flair and a higher threat in front of goal than the threat we currently possess. Ross Barkley has also been linked with a transfer to extend his stay in the Midlands, but a string of poor performances may turn Dean Smith's head elsewhere when looking to bolster his midfield. 

It appears that Jack Grealish has found his position out on the left-hand side, but having a more creative player through the middle may take some of the pressure off of the captain to create chances out of nothing. Often, Villa find themselves looking to Grealish to change a game single-handedly, but with that extra creative vessel in the middle of the park, the threat will only be greater.

Ross Barkley or Matheus Pereira?

Ross Barkley is currently on loan at Villa from Chelsea and has scored three goals since he joined on loan. Since his injury and the covid outbreak, he hasn't been the same and has found himself under heavy criticism from Villa fans. If the rumoured buying price for Barkley is accurate, then Chelsea will be asking for around £40m, which makes this a no brainer.

Pereira would be by far the cheaper option, and this season has proven himself to be a huge danger to defences, even when his side have been struggling. Villa may face competition from other clubs if Dean Smith decides to target Pereira; he may find himself in a bidding war.