South American football expert Tim Vickery has told Chelsea that Jhon Duran is a “real player” and the “warm-hearted” Mauricio Pochettino approach could bring the best out of him.
Duran joined Aston Villa with potential, but still as a fairly raw asset. He’d played 27 MLS games for Chicago Fire the season prior to his move, scoring eight goals and assisting five.
In a season and a half at Villa Park so far, he’s yet to find himself on the pitch consistently, and has scored just four goals.
While Ollie Watkins is clearly the favoured striking option, and for good reason given his returns in each season he’s played for Villa, Duran’s lack of game time may be because of his attitude.
It’s been reported previously that his ‘frustrating behaviour’ has led to Unai Emery looking to let him go.
AC Milan and Inter Milan have both been linked with him, as have Chelsea, in a strange turn of events.
It’s said Duran has been discussed as a short-term option at Stamford Bridge, with Christopher Nkunku injured and Nicolas Jackson away on international duty.
It makes sense why they want cover, but they could surely aim higher than a player with four Premier League goals in 35 appearances.
Pochettino can get best out of Duran
However, South American football expert Vickery thinks there is a lot of potential in Duran, and he just needs to be in the right place for that to show.
“There is a real player there, a real player. A strong, left-footed and mobile striker,” Vickery said on Sky Sports.
“He is one of the big hopes of Colombian football. He has had a year at Villa and it seems it hasn’t really won the trust of Unai Emery.”
It seems Vickery feels Emery might not have been the manager to bring out the best in him, but Pochettino being a more forgiving character could help the striker to come out of his shell and impress for a side who needs it.
“From a number of perspectives, well, a loan deal to Chelsea. They are perhaps short in that department,” Vickery said.
“With Mauricio Pochettino, sometimes the Colombians need that kind of warm-hearted coach and arm around the shoulder, so you could see it working for Duran and it working for Chelsea.”
Chelsea striker Jackson is having a decent spell this season with seven goals, despite not having been the most prolific forward in previous years.
As such, playing under Pochettino might well be the catalyst for Duran to add that vital element to his game.
It remains to be seen if Chelsea do move for him, but if it would only be a loan deal anyway, there doesn’t seem an awful lot to lose.