Five Questions about Álex Moreno
When Álex Moreno became Unai Emery’s first Aston Villa signing, nobody really imagined that another left-back was on the cards. By the time you read this Moreno has already made a couple of Villa appearances, but lets catch up on our regular brass tacks, no filler skinny guide of Villa’s signings, where we ask – Who? What? Where? Why? & Worries?
Álex Moreno The 5 W’s
Alexandre “Álex” Moreno Lopera, is a Spanish left-back who was born in Barcelona. In his senior career, he’s played for Rayo Vallecano, Elche and Real Betis before becoming the first signing of the Unai Emery era.
Being the first signing for the new boss, Moreno gives an idea of what he feels is needed in the team, a back-up or replacement for Lucas Digne, should injury or suspension occur as seems to happen very often to the unlucky Frenchman. Indeed, Digne soon got injured against Leeds United, paving the way for the former Real Betis man, to make his Villa debut ahead of schedule. He’d then go on to make his first start against Southampton, in Digne’s continued absence.
WATCH: A selection of Moreno’s highlights before he joined Villa
Moreno, is straight into the first eleven, with Digne and his understudy Augustinsson both injured. Considering it is a reported £13 Million deal, Moreno, you would think, will not be an understudy. It’ll be interested to see what happens to the first XI, when Digne is fit again. Augustinsson, meanwhile, could potentially be retained on loan if Digne’s absence is long-term.
It’s lucky the move happened as Villa have already seen 90+ minutes of Moreno in the victory against Leeds and he started at St. Mary’s. There’s reason to sign him already.
Moreno has largely been bought in to the side as he’s good in possession and likes to get involved in build-up play and cuts inside. Emery has a penchant to bring on extra full-backs to play in midfield in front of the starting full-back, to see out games and protect leads. So Moreno will get plenty of minutes, even if he doesn’t start ahead of Digne.
He will look to improve on steady growth with Betis that included the 21-22 Copa Del Rey.
His disciplinary record is unremarkable with 34 yellows and two reds in his career to date.
WATCH: Moreno’s first interview with Villa
Despite it being a necessary move, you wonder what it says about recruitment that Aston Villa need to sign a third left-back in 12 months?
For all Matt Targett’s faults, he was an ever-present and reliable fullback with his own goals and attacking shortcomings the main issue.
Moreno has already shown in 180 minutes that he is an attacking threat with two chances missed against Leeds.
Moreno’s debut was the proverbial baptism of fire, playing in front of the away fans and against a high-energy Leeds. So unlike Targett, his temperament playing in front of a hostile crowd looks to be without question
At his age, at 29 he is a signing for here and now, but he’s needed here and now, so any concerns over him stopping youth progress is unfounded.
There is a lack of physicality with him being quoted online as five feet eight inches, but it didn’t hurt Alan Wright.
The only other issue is his lack of international recognition and progress in Spain. With La Liga being a three-team league for so long makes you think Moreno should have made it to Barcelona, especially as a Catalan, but he progressed no further than the youth team, then again International caps are no guarantee of success, Augustinsson has 50 caps.