A Beginner’s Guide to Jhon Duran
While Aston Villa supporters were certainly hoping an extra attacking option would be added to the Villa squad this January, few would have anticipated the arrival of 19-year-old Columbian, Jhon Durán from Chicago Fire. While we wait for Villa to officially announce the player’s arrival, here’s the brass tacks skinny guide to the man who hopefully will grow to become Villa’s number nine.
Jhon Duran The 5 W’s
Jhon Jader Durán Palacio is a 19-year-old Columbian forward who arrived as a surprise signing for Aston Villa seemingly allowing Danny Ings to depart to West Ham. In an ordinary world, he’s not a direct replacement, but he may stop a striker shortage that could see the forward line come undone before the season’s end.
Very much a surprise signing for the future, Durán has been tracked by a number of Europe’s big teams, with reports in late 2022 linking him to Liverpool, Manchester United and Benfica. Villa have reportedly been tracking him for the last six months, so this is a signing from the club, not the new boss.
WATCH: Jhon Durán bags a brace for Chicago Fire against Toronto FC
At a reported fee of £18 million, I’m not of the opinion that Aston Villa are dropping him into the Under-21s. Clubs like Aston Villa don’t normally drop that amount of cash on potential alone. I’d expect he will be on the bench, especially with Ings gone and Archer on loan.
Durán is scheduled to stay at Aston Villa instead of returning to the Columbian under 20’s side. That suggests he will be straight into the squad.
From accounts and footage, he’s a tall powerful forward with a cocky side. The last two Villans with that profile were John Carew and Christian Benteke. If he can be anywhere near that in a few years he will be money well spent.
He also hails from Medellin, the Columbian city that was home to drug dealer Pablo Escobar and the more adrenaline-inducing Juan Pablo Angel.
In reality, he may offer Villa another dimension up top.
Of course, he is raw, but already a powerful left foot is noted as well as the previous observations. Eight goals in 27 appearances for Chicago Fire, is a decent return for a young player at any level.
WATCH: Duran scores against Charlotte FC when 18-years-old
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The worry is of course how he will fit in at the Club and in the Premier League.
With the growing South American contingent of Douglas Luiz, Diego Carlos, Emi Buendia and of course Emi Martinez, there should be plenty to welcome him into the fold.
The Premier League is notorious for being the most physically intense league in the world, but having pace and power certainly gets you a head start. Benteke was incredibly raw when he joined Villa, but by the second half of his first season, he was a force of nature.
The other main concern is the hype factor.
Already in this piece, John Carew and Benteke have been name-checked and it’s impossible not to look for reference points from Aston Villa’s past.
The trait of being cocky is what interests the most.
This is something that comes from confidence in your own ability, if there’s one position on the pitch this is needed it’s in forward positions. You could argue that Ollie Watkins has in recent months suffered from a lack of confidence (which hopefully his winner against the Saints will help).
One definitely for the future, but sometimes an opportunity arises faster.