Alexandru Maxim: future star. Photo via imago/Pressefoto Baumann
Dream January Transfer: Alexandru Maxim (Stuttgart)
In an email interview with Bleacher Report lead writer Sam Tighe, he told me a classy No. 10 was needed at Aston Villa.
"Aston Villa need a linkup player between the midfield and the forward," said Tighe. "The game against Hull was case in point."
Maxim has more assists (four) than Gabriel Agbonlahor (two) and Andreas Weimann (one) combined.
Even though Maxim has scored three times, he's not a volume-shooter and generally spends the match setting up his teammates.
His creativity and vision have contributed to Vedad Ibisevic overachieving.
So, why isn't Maxim attainable for Villa?
He has enormous upside and when Europe's major clubs are scouting 17-year-old phenom Timo Werner, they will notice Maxim.
Mario Gomez, Aleksandr Hleb, Sami Khedira, Jurgen Klinsmann, Elber and Matthias Sammer are some examples of Stuttgart alumni making big career moves.
Suggested January Transfer: Hiroshi Kiyotake (Nuremberg)
Nuremberg are struggling in the Bundesliga and they may talk a good game, trying to inflate Kiyotake's transfer stock, but they are infamous for underselling elite prospects.
Stefan Kiessling was sold to Bayer Leverkusen for €6.5 million.
Eight seasons later, he's one of Europe's most prolific forwards, netting 27 goals last season.
Ilkay Gundogan, Borussia Dortmund's motor, left Nuremberg for €4 million.
Sooner rather than later, Nuremberg will cave in.
Kiyotake, a lovely first-touch passer, needs to be more assertive if he is to reach compatriot Shinji Kagawa's level.
Allan Jiang is a Featured Columnist for Bleacher Report. Unless otherwise noted, all quotations in this article were obtained via email interview.