Aston Villa announced the arrival of Diego Carlos at the beginning of June. The central defender, transferred from Sevilla, is Villa’s third signing of the summer. Having already picked up Boubacar Kamara on a free transfer, as well as making Philippe Coutinho’s loan permanent, the Midlands club are wasting no time in getting their summer business done.
Carlos, 29 years old, was wanted by Newcastle United in January, although Sevilla weren’t keen to sell in the middle of the season. The Spanish club signed the Brazilian from Nantes in May 2019, and he’s been a regular for Sevilla during his three seasons at the Spanish club.
Those who check the latest football odds will know that there are doubts about Aston Villa. Gerrard’s team are certainly talented but, having finished 14th, there’s a feeling that Villa are currently performing as less than the sum of their parts.
Doubts have grown over the partnership of Tyrone Mings and Ezri Konsa in the centre of defence, and Carlos may be the breath of fresh air that Gerrard’s side need at the back. The Brazilian is a committed, no-nonsense defender. Carlos is a physical presence, and should have little problem competing in the Premier League.
An aggressive defender, Carlos excels in stepping in and intercepting a pass before it reaches a forward, or pressuring an attacker before they’ve had a chance to control the ball. Generally an assertive presence in defence, Carlos’ proactive instincts can leave gaps in the defensive line at times, and Gerrard would be best suited partnering him with a slightly more conservative defender.
Carlos is comfortable on the ball, and has a strong range of passing. He presents a good option for getting the ball from back to front, if Gerrard’s team are looking to bypass the midfield. He’s able to find teammates between the lines, and is generally calm on the ball.
If Carlos is a starter for Villa, then his long passing is likely to be a regular feature of their games when Aston Villa look to play the ball out from the back. Carlos is a regular switcher of the ball, and will look to spread the ball into space when the opposing team is clustered on one side of the pitch.
At 29 years old, it’s fair to assume that Carlos has been signed for the present, rather than the future, and the Brazilian is expected to be a starter for most of his four-year contract. Aside from his ability as a defender, Carlos brings a good level of experience too.
During his three years at Sevilla, he helped the team finish in the top four of La Liga each season. He was also part of the Sevilla team that won the 2020 Europa League, beating Inter Milan in the final. Having conceded a penalty earlier in the game, Carlos had a large part to play in the winning goal. His attempted overhead kick was deflected into the net by Romelu Lukaku, an action that ended up being the winning goal.
Carlos was also part of the Brazil team at the Tokyo Olympics. The Brazilian side won the tournament, with a solid defensive record, and Carlos was a mainstay, going on to receive his gold medal after edging out Spain 2-1 in the final. Carlos certainly brings a lot to this Villa side, as a player and as a person. Aston Villa haven’t necessarily repaid their heavy investment in recent years with impressive finishes in the league, and the club will be hoping that Carlos’ arrival changes that.