Would Ashley Westwood Be A Good Signing For Burnley?
Posted by Featured Articles | Published on July 11, 2016
Over the past week, Aston Villa midfielder Ashley Westwood has been linked with a move to newly promoted side Burnley, but is the former Crewe Alexandra Captain the player they need to help them stay up?
Westwood is a player who you always here contrasting views from between Villa fans. Many of the Villa faithful rate him, yet many also think he is poor or overrated. In my opinion, I think Westwood would make a good championship player, but doesn’t really have the credentials to play against England’s elite. If Burnley were to sign Westwood, however, this is what they will gain.
One thing which Burnley fans will see from Westwood is 100%. Many Villa fans don’t rate Westwood but they can’t complain about his work ethic and the shift he tries to put in, unlike many other players in their squad. Westwood will try his hardest every game, and as a manager you can’t ask for more than that.
Another quality which Westwood possesses is that he has a good shot on him. Despite only having scored 5 goals for Villa in his four seasons, all goals he has scored have been good finishes from around 15-25 yards. His best goal in a Villa shirt came in a derby game against West Brom, where his driven shot from 25 yards flew past Ben Foster into his bottom left-hand corner to claim a point at the Hawthorns.
Where He Needs Improving
As reiterated earlier, I believe that Westwood hasn’t got the qualities to be a good Premier League midfielder, but if he improves on these factors, he can easily prove me wrong:
One of the things which lets Westwood’s game down the most is through how he takes set-pieces. Nonetheless, he’s got a few assists through his set play’s in the last few years, with Christian Benteke finishing the majority of them. However 1/5 of Westwood’s deliveries seem to be good, the other 4/5 aren’t. Westwood tends to float the ball into the six-yard box, instead of properly crossing it, with the end product either going safely into the goalkeeper’s hands or floating over all the players heads and going out as a throw-in to the opposition. Even the Villa supporters that rate Westwood think his set pieces are poor, with many Villa fans joking about his set-plays over social media. However, if Westwood joins Burnley and gets his floated crosses sorted, they could be very good chances for players like Sam Vokes to finish.
Another thing which Westwood receives criticism from is through negative play. What I mean through negative play is that he tends to pass the ball either sideways or backwards the majority of the time instead of playing positive balls to the players who are in front of him. In his first few seasons people believed this was just a bad trade which he had learned from former manager Paul Lambert, and his poor management, but this seems to have continued since Tim Sherwood joined, and Remi Garde shortly after.
What Is He Worth To Villa?
Since Villa’s relegation from the Premier League, the price of most of their players would of went down due to the poor performances they showed the season before, and players requesting transfers to join a club in a higher division or in Europe. It’s quoted that Villa have told Burnley they want 8m pounds for Westwood, and I think its the right decision. English players are overhyped a lot and if Bournemouth are considering bidding 15m for Ibe, then Villa are doing the right thing in holding out for 8m for Westwood. Another reason Villa may hold out for more, is through the clause in his contract which says that former club Crewe will get 20% of the fee Villa sell him on for. This means that if Villa do get 8m for him, they will actually receive 6.4m with the other 1.6m going to Crewe, and with Villa recently signing an unexperienced young midfielder in Tshibola for 5m they will be wanting to get more money back from Westwood, who does have Premier League experience.
Is He Worth The Suggested Fee To Burnley?
What he’s worth to Villa and what he’s worth to Burnley are two different things. I can understand why Villa would want 8m for him but I don’t think he’s worth 8m and neither will Burnley. Would be a risk by Burnley if they decided to meet Villa’s asking price and sign Westwood but he could be worth it if he improves on his set pieces and positivity.
But at the end of the day this is just my opinion on him, and as I said at the start, you get a lot of contrasting views about Westwood, so if you disagree, I understand why!