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Wesley Moraes: Who is Aston Villa's new striker?

By Luke Hatfield | Aston Villa | Published: | Last Updated:

Aston Villa have confirmed the signing of striker Wesley Moraes from Club Brugge, subject to a work permit - but what do you know about the Brazilian?

Wesley Moraes celebrates (Photo: BRUNO FAHY/Belga)

Here, we take a look at the new man in the door at Villa Park to give you more of an insight...

Factfile

Full name: Wesley Moraes Ferreira da Silva

Age: 22

DOB: 26/11/1996

Nationality: Brazilian

Height: 1.91m (6'3'')

Previous clubs: Club Brugge, Trencin, Itabuna

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Career stats

Club Brugge (all competitions):

2018/19 - 48 appearances, 17 goals, 10 assists.

2017/18 - 44 appearances, 13 goals, two assists.

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2016/17 - 32 appearances, six goals, two assists.

2015/16 - six appearances, two goals, no assists.

Trencin (all competitions):

2015/16 - 22 appearances, eight goals, five assists.

What kind of player is Wesley Moraes?

An out and out striker, Wesley Moraes Ferreira da Silva (often referred to as just Wesley) is best suited to playing as a straight up centre-forward. He can be utilised off another front man, but due to his imposing size and speed is best set leading the line.

By no means a finished product at just 22 years of age, Wesley is a physically imposing player. Standing well above six foot, he's a clear aerial threat, but he's also incredibly quick for his size too.

Able to run off that last man and rough it up with defenders, he can cause all kinds of problems for his opposing number in and around the penalty area.

For many Villa fans, he offers an understandable resemblance to a former Belgian striker that graced B6 in previous years, namely Christian Benteke. It's a fair comparison too, both forwards joined Villa from the Belgium Jupiler Pro League, and both bring a sizeable frame and exciting physical traits - whether Wesley will hit the heights of Benteke is another question altogether.

Some have likened Wesley to Romelu Lukaku too, once again because of his Belgian beginnings and powerful style of play.

Some Villa fans are likening Wesley to the signing of Christian Benteke.

One thing which could be even more telling however, is Wesley's ability to link play with his fellow forwards. With 17 goals and 10 assists last season, he's a man who clearly likes to create almost as much as he likes to finish.

He enjoys dropping off outside the penalty area to link play and drag centre backs out, but is also deadly within 18 yards too. He's not the most prolific scorer from range, but give Wesley the ball in areas that suit him and he can hurt teams.

Outside of football, fans may be surprised to hear that despite his own tender age that he's already a father. He claims that it has provided him extra motivation succeed and also given him a grounded mindset.

Will he fit in at Aston Villa?

Given the issues surrounding Tammy Abraham and Chelsea, it seems as though any deal for the England youngster is unlikely - fortunately, Wesley fits into the Abaraham mould fairly well judging from his preferred style of play and ability.

At Club Brugge he was often utilised as a central forward in a front three (where many would imagine him featuring for Villa), or as part of a front two in a 3-5-2 formation.

We've not seen the latter utilised by Dean Smith, but he certainly seems suited to a central role in a 4-3-3, which we saw Villa play under Smith last season.

Wesley Moraes of Club Brugge celebrates (Photo: Guillaume Horcajuelo/epa-efe/Shutterstock)

With Jota and Anwar El Ghazi both tied down on either wing this summer, not to mention the potential for further signings on the flanks, it seems that Wesley will slot in nicely at Villa Park and could get to work scoring and creating goals under Dean Smith given the chance.

The big question fans will be asking is whether or not he'll adjust to the Premier League, as making the move from Belgium to the top flight is a big ask.

From Villa's perspective he appears to a be a signing which could pay dividends too. If he produces on the pitch, at his age - there's no doubt his value will increase.

What is Wesley Moraes capable of?

Take a look below at this highlight package of Wesley in action for Club Brugge...

WESLEY MORAES – CLUB BRUJAS – GOLES & HABILIDADES 1080 HD / 60 FPS

Wesley Moraes in quotes

Wesley on his ambition in Belgium:

"I want to become the most expensive outgoing transfer in Belgium, breaking that record of 25 million euros,”

Wesley on wanting to play in England:

"I have read all those names. It is of course completely different going to China than to another European country.

"I don’t know what I want, I don’t want to exclude anything.

"I do know that I once said that I want to go to England and that is still the case.

"I have always closely followed the Premier League. But I am certainly also open to other leagues."

Wesley on leaving Club Brugge:

“I have given everything here for more than three years, but Club Brugge has done everything for me,”

“I am very grateful to the club for that. It will hurt if I move to another club this summer. When I was substituted I could indeed not hold back my tears, because I knew immediately that my last match for Blauw-Zwart was over.

“I will never forget Club Brugge. That I will hopefully be able to go to a bigger league soon is all due to club. I have learned a great deal here in those three years.

"Of course I would have preferred to say goodbye with a title, but I think we have given everything this season and that we were unable to become champions two years after due to details. I think we have nothing to be blamed for."

Former coach Ivan Leko on Wesley's abilities:

"Wesley is enormously important to us. His profile is super interesting for every European club, but indeed, he does not score enough,"

"That's why we continue to work hard with him. He gets extra training exercises for three or four times a week and that pays off,"

"Now he is 30 percent better than a year ago. In the collective, in his movements, in everything. But of course he is still young and must continue to work on everything."

Wesley on being a father:

"In Brazil it is relatively normal to choose children at a younger age. It has certainly changed my life. I miss them,"

"They stay with their mum in Brazil. We have daily contact, but it is not obvious. I try to be a good father. I do everything I undertake with my children in mind."

"Among other things, I play football for them on the other side of the world. And I want to give them certain values, such as respect and humility. That's how I was raised."

"I work to give them a better life."

"When I was growing up in Juiz de Fora (a city north of Rio de Janeiro, ed.) There was not always much to eat at home. And when my father died when I was nine years old, my mother was left alone she wasn't surrounded enough to be able to raise us properly. I don't want to do that to my own children. "

"They ensure that as a young player I can resist all temptations. I don't know where I would have ended without my children."

Luke Hatfield

By Luke Hatfield
Digital Sports Journalist - @LHatfield_Star

Digital Sports Journalist based in Wolverhampton working on the Express & Star and Shropshire Star.

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