Could Aleksandar Tonev be Aston Villa’s New Magic Man? A Bulgarian Insider View.



 Aleksandar Tonev – Villa’s New Magic Man

“When he was only 18,  his teammates compared him to Kaka”

You know what a magic man is? The player in your team that’s often described as a ‘mercurial talent’. Whatever that means?  The guy who can create something out of nothing. In more recent times, it’s been Paul Merson, Benito Carbone, and Dwlight Yorke too, had it in his locker. Recently, there’s been a bit of a drought.  In the current team, Stephen Ireland was meant to be that man. N’Zogbia, if he was a bit more interested, could have been a bit more of a wild card prospect for opposition defences too. Alas not. But after asking MOMS man in Bulgaria, Atanas Kovachev (who was a great source for Petrov information ),  about Lambert’s first transfer for the new season, Aleksandar Tonev , it sounds like there’s a chance a bit of magic might be just around the corner for Villa fans.

By Atanas Kovachev

As a fan of PFC Levski (the arch-rivals of CSKA) I was not very familiar with Aleksandar Tonev when he was playing in Bulgaria.When he joined Lech Poznan, I read about his progress and was impressed with some of his long-range strikes. He came to prominence though more in Bulgaria in March of this year, when scored a hat-trick for Bulgaria against Malta, which were his first goals for the senior national team.

This is what a former Bulgarian legend,Krasimir Balakov said of Wolfsburg’s interest for Tonev recently: “He is a very talented young player. He already has the skills,but also has a lot of potential. I am sure he can do well in every team in the Bungesliga. Tonev is a very fast,dynamic and technically skilled player.He has the will and the ambition to succeed.”

Hristo Stoichkov also spoke about Tonev in a recent interview for a Polish newspaper: “He is a very fast, creative footballer, who fights for every ball and has a great shot. At the match between Bulgaria and  Denmark there were almost 80 scouts from different teams, almost half of them were tracking Alexander.” Stoichkov also said that there are similarities between his style of play and Tonev’s.

During Tonev’s time at CSKA and Sliven, when he was only 18,  his teammates compared him to Kaka in an interview.

My personal opinion is that Tonev is similar to N’Zogbia, but a younger and faster version of Zoggy. They are both technically skilled, like to dribble and shoot from distance. Tonev though, also makes some wonderful passes and has a higher work rate/teamwork than N’Zogbia.

While Tonev is not afraid to shoot from any distance,  he also has an eye for imaginative and creative passes which will surely be utilised by Benteke, Gabby and Weimann.


Beyond Youtube: MOMS Eastern European Scouting Collection

Here are some videos of Tonev from his time at CSKA ,Sliven, Lech and the Bulgarian National Team. Thanks to Atanas for unearthing this lesser known footage.

Second and Third goal for CSKA

Goal for Sliven –

25.03.2011 Bulgaria U21 friendly match

19.02.2011 – CSKA : Chavdar 2:1  –

Lech Goals:



  1. N’Zogbia didn’t have a bad game last season and there’s only one reason he’s being pushed out and that is his wages.

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