'He'd be Fantastic signing' - Exclusive: Whelan reacts to Aston Villa reported swoop for PL star
Noel Whelan has claimed that Liverpool striker Divock Origi would be “fantastic signing” for Aston Villa this summer especially if they can keep hold of Jack Grealish.
The former Leeds United forward, speaking exclusively to Football Insider correspondent Dylan Childs, suggested that the 25-year-old may be interested in a move after two years on the bench at Anfield.
According to The Sun, Villa boss Dean Smith is desperate to improve his attacking options and is considering a swoop for the Belgium international.
Origi scored six goals in 42 appearances last season but featured predominantly as a substitute with Roberto Firmino, Mohammed Salah and Sadio Mane preferred in attack.
He put pen to paper on a new five-year contract last summer and is tied down at Anfield until July 2024.
When asked by Football Insider if the former Wolfsburg striker would be a welcome addition at Villa Park, Whelan said: “He would be a fantastic signing for Villa.
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“Now that they have survived in the Premier League, a massive plus for them, they need strikers. He is a goalscorer and somebody that Liverpool always turn to when they have needed goals and he normally delivers. It would be a great signing for Dean Smith.
“If he is not going to be getting regular game time at Liverpool next season then he may feel he needs to go out and get regular football at another club.
“Villa are a big club with a great history and they boast some great midfield players as well. If they can keep Grealish he could be a fantastic signing for them.”
Grealish’s future has been the subject of continued speculation this year and Sky Sports reported that Arsenal had registered their interest.
The Villa captain’s 41 appearances this season have yielded 10 goals and eight assists.
In other Aston Villa news, Danny Mills warns Dean Smith amid reported move for 29-year-old midfielder.