Chicago Fire teenage winger Jhon Duran is on his way to England to join Aston Villa. The 19-year-old thrived in Major League Soccer with Chicago. He scored eight goals and provided a further five assists this past season with the Fire.
Duran joins Aston Villa for an initial fee of $18 million with $4 million coming in add-ons. The $22 million package is a massive profit for Chicago. The MLS side originally acquired the Colombian for just over $1 million at the beginning of 2022. Duran came over from Envigado FC in the top flight of Colombia.
Aston Villa is getting a player that made all his appearances as a central striker. It provides competition for Ollie Watkins and Danny Ings. Watkins has been the preferred starter at Villa Park this season, but Ings has had the better output. Watkins has three goals in 18 appearances, while Ings has six goals in the same number of appearances. Also, Watkins does have four assists to Ings zero.
Duran may not have experience of Ings or Watkins, but he is loaded with potential. Towards the end of the season, Duran hit his stride. Although Chicago missed out on the MLS Cup Playoffs, Duran scored five and assisted two in four over the last five games.
Chicago Fire to Aston Villa is latest move from MLS to EPL
Duran is following a trend of top talent in MLS making a move over to Europe. However, few are as expensive as Duran.
The most expensive transfer out of MLS was Miguel Almiron from Atlanta to Newcastle. After a disappointing start, Almiron is one of the stories of the Premier League season. His nine goals ranks sixth in this season’s Premier League.
Then, Duran’s move from Chicago Fire to Aston Villa is level on cost with Alphonso Davies’s move from Vancouver to Bayern Munich. Davies is one of the best fullbacks in the world.
Aston Villa hopes Duran’s move can pay similar dividends to those two transfers.
PHOTO: IMAGO / Icon Sportswire
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