By Will Butcher
Aston Villa’s promotion hopes would be given a huge boost if they moved for Rangers sensation Barrie McKay in January.
The 21-year-old winger has dazzled Scottish Premiership opponents with a combination of pace and skill that leaves defenders baffled.
Villa should be desperate to bring in a new wide man, with Ghana international Albert Adomah the only recognised winger in their squad.
The likes of Ross McCormack, Jonathan Kodjia and Saturday’s goalscoring hero Jack Grealish are wasted out wide, with all three preferring a central role.
That could mean manager Steve Bruce will enter the January transfer market for a new wide man, with funds set to be provided by chairman Tony Xia.
With less than 18 months left on the one-time Scotland international’s Rangers contract, the Gers could be forced into letting McKay leave before they risk losing him on a free.
As well as his speed and ability when running at defenders, McKay is also able to create chances out of nothing and supply his strikers with inch-perfect crosses.
With two goals and nine assists in his 23 league and cup encounters this season, McKay has shown the kind of form that is expected of someone a lot older.
Villa are reportedly looking to add a winger to their squad, with £10million-rated winger Robbie Brady on their radar.
But a cheaper alternative could arise in McKay, who continues to play an integral part in Mark Warburton’s side after scoring against Hearts on Saturday during the Gers’ 2-0 win.
In other Aston Villa transfer news, Arsenal have opened preliminary talks over the signing of this 24-year-old.