NAME: Nicklas Helenius
CLUB: Aston Villa
MARKET VALUE: £1,300,000
Aston Villa’s new signing, Nicklas Helenius, was being tracked by some of Europe’s biggest teams as he netted 40 times in 102 appearances for Danish side Aalborg BK. The 6ft 5in framed striker has represented his national side at Under 19, 20 and 21 level.
Helenius has represented the senior national side on two occasions and left Denmark for Aston Villa for a fee of around £1.2m. The 22 year old netted on his debut in Villa’s pre-season game against German team SV Rodinghausen. On his second appearance for the Villains, he scored another headed goal against VFL Bochum.
He made his full Premier League debut against Liverpool in the 1-0 defeat at Villa Park. Named Danish Superliga’s Player of the Season by UEFA, Villa have un-earthed yet another hidden gem. Ajax and PSV Eindhoven were interested in a move for the forward however Villa moved swiftly to tie up a deal.
Helenius is a player similar to their star striker Christian Benteke as a tall player, who is strong and great in the air. He is good with the ball at his feet and compared to the £7m Paul Lambert splashed out on Benteke, Helenius’s £1m transfer fee means there is less burden on his shoulders.
His situation at Villa Park is almost perfect. He is in no rush to find his feet in the Midlands with Benteke, Gabby Agbonlahor and Andreas Weimann being the main strikers. He is not a direct replacement but instead an additional supply of goals. He widens Villa’s attacking options and no defenders will enjoy a match up against such a powerful forward.
Helenius could be the coup of the summer showing wonderful control for such a big man. Comparisons with Zlatan Ibrahimovic are generous but the similarities are there. Zlatan is a tall striker who is strong and gifted on the ball. Once he finds his feet in England, Helenius could definitely develop into that type of player for Villa.