Aston Villa eyeing Plymouth star Michael Cooper

Aston Villa are tracking Plymouth Argyle goalkeeper Michael Cooper ahead of a potential move, but they look set to face significant competition for him.

What’s the story?

Dean Smith’s side lost one of their senior goalkeepers over the summer transfer window, with Tom Heaton leaving the club to join Manchester United on a free transfer.

That has left the Villa boss with Emi Martinez and Jed Steer as his only two proven options in the Premier League, and the latter had to be called upon in the top-flight just recently following the whole quarantining debacle involving the Midlands club’s Argentine players.

Now, Football League World have claimed that Villa scouts, along with the likes of Southampton and Brentford, among others, have all checked in on Cooper this season, with Argyle going well in League One at the moment.

Competition for Emi Martinez

At just 21, Cooper has got all the time in the world to become a top-class player, and his age certainly means that his best years as a goalkeeper maybe even a decade or so away.

But already, he’s turning heads with his performances at club level, and it’s no surprise that the 6 foot 1 titan has been part of a Plymouth back-line who have conceded just six goals in eight games this season in League One – the second-best defensive record in the division.

His manager, Ryan Lowe, said: “He’s fantastic isn’t he? That’s what he’s there for, it’s what he gets paid for. We know what he has got, he has got quality in abundance. He looks solid and resolute in that goal – it’s a presence.

“We want him to communicate more and be demanding, and that’s what he’s doing. If he keeps continuing to do that he will be fine. Physically, he’s a monster. He wants to be strong, you have seen him coming for catches and grabbing hold of them. He used to play cricket so he has got that over-arm (throw) as well!”

With Heaton having departed in the summer, Cooper’s arrival would give Martinez some much-needed competition to keep him on his toes going forward.

Meanwhile, Aston Villa have another exciting academy starlet in this teenager…