Wesley Moraes: Why Aston Villas New Brazilian Is the Bargain Signing of the Summer

Some leagues around the world are frowned upon somewhat when it comes to the standard of football. Two such examples are the Eredivisie, contested in Netherlands and the Belgian Pro League - contested in, well, Belgium.

As a result, the players who move to the Premier League often aren't quite up to it. As an Aston Villa fan, I'm well versed to seeing a plethora of players arrive from here, billed as superstars.

Be it Libor Kozak, Brett Holman or Charles N'Zogbia, we've seen all sorts down at Villa Park over the last decade.

Many would see Aston Villa's new record signing, Wesley Moraes, as the latest addition into that hall of fame, with the Brazilian having only notched 30 goals in well over 100 appearances for Club Brugge.


After a slow start to his career with the Belgian titans, Wesley scored 17 goals in all competitions last season, also recording ten assists. 

Two of those goals came during their giant-killing two legged tie against AS Monaco in the ​Champions League, that well and truly doomed their season and that of manager Thierry Henry - one time Villa 'managerial target'.

Cardiff were among the list of suitors chasing down the 22-year-old Brazilian after his stellar season, but their relegation paved the way for us to snap him up for £22m - and what a bargain he may turn out to be.

I may be blindsided as an Aston Villa fan myself, but it seems to me that Wesley is a perfect fit for the English game.

His physicality, blistering pace and ability to bully defenders out of the game are valuable assets in any league, let alone the Premier League. The good news for us is that those traits will enable some of our players to come to the fore, as he's a provider, as well as a goalscorer.


Of Wesley's 14 goals in the Belgian Pro League and Supercup last season, 12 of those goals came from inside the box, with a further three of those coming from within the six-yard box. That sounds pretty tasty, and even more so when you consider Dean Smith and John Terry's preferred style of play for our side - hammering down the wings.

By trade, he's a poacher that lurks in the blind spot of defenders before waiting to make a blistering last minute run - either to the front post, or into another pocket of space. Quick wing-play and overlapping runs from midfield should certainly suit him in that regard.

In fact, he seems to be very similar to a past Aston Villa top goal-scorer from the Belgian Pro League - one Christian Benteke, who signed from Genk in 2012 for £7m.

Strangely enough, he stands 6ft 3in tall, just like Wesley, and more coincidentally, so was last seasons top goalscorer for Villa, Tammy Abraham. See where I'm going with this?

In the three pre-season games he's played for Aston Villa, he's developed a partnership with Jack Grealish and played well alongside fellow new signing Jota, scoring twice and assisting one against Walsall.

Wesley was thought of highly by all of the staff at Club Brugge, none more so than the team manager Devy Rigaux - who gave him a warm send off message after the move was finalised.

In quotes relayed by the Guardian, he said: "First of all the supporters need to give him a warm welcome, Wesley looks massive but he really needs the support. He had it from the Brugge supporters – and every time he said to me that it gives him an enormous feeling when they chant his name.

"Secondly, we’ve prepared him in a really good way but don’t think from the beginning that he will be the No 1 striker in the Premier League. Give him time, though, and I really expect him to be a key player for Aston Villa and to have a big career."

He has been compared to famed Brazilian forward Garrincha, with both strikers sharing a peculiar trait due to the sizes of their legs. Garrincha's left leg was six centimetres longer than his right, whilst Wesley was born with one leg three centimetres longer than the other - making it seem like he's limping on the pitch.


It makes no difference to his on-field ability, though, and as long as he scores goals and works hard, he'll undoubtedly become a fan favourite.

When the season starts, Wesley will be an immediate starter - and we'll all be on the terraces hoping the boys can pick up where they left off last season, tearing the Championship to shreds.

Source : 90min