Date: 18th June 2019 at 8:01am
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EXCLUSIVE

Aston Villa new arrival Wesley Moraes is not the answer to the team’s need for a proven goalscorer, according to Noel Whelan.

Speaking exclusively to Football Insider, the ex-Leeds United and Coventry City striker is “unconvinced” the Brazilian, 22, has the pedigree to make a big impact in the Premier League next season.

Villa smashed their transfer record to sign versatile forward Moraes for £22million last week from Club Brugge.

“It’s a statement of intent from Villa but look at Wesley Moraes’ performances, he’s not a prolific striker by any stretch of the imagination,” Whelan told Football Insider.

“The Belgian league is not at the level of the Premier League, and he doesn’t seem to be an out-and-out striker, to me. He’s a player who spends a lot of time outside the 18-yard box.

“Have Villa brought him to link the play? He is not going to go from getting 13 goals in the Belgian league to 20 in the Premier League. I very much doubt that. He will struggle to get into double figures.

“Villa’s scouts must have seen something else about his game that makes him special. In the Premier League, he will be up against international defenders of high class. He’s going to find it very tough.”

Moraes is heading to Villa after spending three years in Belgium with Club Brugge.

He scored 17 goals in 48 appearances in all competitions last season, 13 of which came from 38 league matches.

A versatile forward who can lead the lead, play in the number 10 role or out wide, Moraes’ overall record at the Belgian top-tier outfit is 38 goals and 14 assists from 130 matches.

In other Aston Villa news, it can be REVEALED that the club have set their sights on signing two senior Southampton players.