Aston Villa’s £22m man tipped for fresh move in January

The Brazilian striker, Wesley, is hopeful of a January move following lack of game time in Belgium.

<p>Moraes is apparently hopeful of move in January transfer window</p>

Moraes is apparently hopeful of move in January transfer window

In January 2020, Club Brugges and Aston Villa man Wesley Moraes suffered a knee injury and, despite regaining full fitness, he has not started for Villa and only had one start for Brugges.

Moraes returned to Club Brugges in 2021 on a temporary loan but the Belgian newspaper Het Nieuwsblad has recently revealed that it seems likely the 25-year-old striker will move again in the January transfer window after not being given enough playing time.

In September, Moraes admitted that he was not ready to be just put on the bench and the then manager, Dean Smith, understood the decision to move to Belgium on a temporary deal.

The Brazilian striker has, however, not seen an improvement in his match time as he has enjoyed only 100 minutes of play from six matches in all competitions and only had one strat for the Jupiler Pro League side.

The Belgian source has said that Moraes ‘wants to leave again’ and ‘there is a good chance that the South American will be loaned out again in January.

FIFA changed their rules in June 2020 and confirmed that post pandemic, a player can be registered with three clubs, instead of two, during a course of the season.

If this ‘temporary rule change’ is continued through to 2022, then Wesley will be able to move once again for the second half of the season, otherwise the striker will be forced to stay with either Club Brugge or Villa.

Who is Wesley Moraes?

Wesley Moraes Ferreira da Silva was born in Juiz de Fora, Brazil in 1996 and began playing football early on in his youth.

His youth career began in 2010 when he represented both Associacao Esportiva Uberabinha and Sport Club Juiz de Fora for different periods.

In 2013 he spent three months at Atletico Mineiro before moving to Tupi.

Wesley joined the local side, Itabuna, at 18 and played semi-professionally in the state level Campeonato Baiano in 2014 but only stayed with the side for three months.

Moraes spent the rest of the year in trials with Atletico Madrid’s academy side and AS Nancy, but he did not receive a professional contract from either club.

The striker is known for his aggressive approach, often leading to yellow and red cards

Wesley also trialled with the then Ligue 2 side Evian.

The striker joined AS Trencin, the Slovak Supa Liga side and scored six times in his 18 matches for the club.

In 2016, Moraes moved to Club Brugge and scored 32 times in his 107 matches for the side. Brugge focused on minimising his anger which often led to multiple yellow cards. He wore a tape on his hands during a match against Royal Antwerp as a reminder to not react.

Wesley Moraes at Aston Villa

The striker signed for Aston Villa in June 2019 for a fee of £22million and, following a week-long training camp with the rest of the squad, Wesley made his debut for the side in a friendly against Minnesota United on July 17 2019.

Moraes’s first goal for Villa came in his third appearance during a 2-0 win over Everton. In January 2020, Moraes suffered a severe cruciate knee ligament injury after a tackle from Burnley’s Ben Mee. It was thought the injury would take nine months to recover from but was more severe than first thought and took over a year.

The 25-year-old made his return to the side in March 2021 and played for 45 minutes in a training friendly against West Bromwich Albion.

Since 2019, Moraes has played in 25 matches and scored five time and was an exceptionally useful, if feisty, forward but since his injury, he has not been given the opportunity to show his skills and talent to the best of his ability yet.

On his return to Club Brugges, Wesley has had four appearances and not scored. According to whoscored.com, Wesley has a player rating of 6.00 and a 2021 pass percentage of 67.7% overall, however these statistics seem unfair to compare given the Brazilian’s lack of play time.

His apparent desire to leave Brugges would give him the chance to regain his previous form that had been seen pre-injury.

Who will take Wesley Moraes?

There is no news yet on where else the striker could move, but a move back to Aston Villa would not be unlikely. However, given the recent form of both Danny Ings and Ollie Watkins, Moraes would not be given much more game time than before.

It will be up to Dean Smith’s replacement, Steven Gerrard to make a decision on Moraes’ potential future at the club.

What are fans saying?

The fans have kept quiet so far on the potential thought of Moraes’ return to Villa, however there have been noises hoping the Brazilian might return to play in his home country.

@_LuisCamargo tweeted (translation): “I know the Corinthians are after a centre forward and the @v_sales did a top search and found a really good player. His name is Wesley Moraes, he’s 25 years old, 1.91, right-handed and he is willing to come to Brazil, on loan, he is currently at Club Brugge.”