It's been confirmed that Colombian forward Jhon Durán has completed a move to Aston Villa in the Premier League for a potential transfer fee of $22 million. The 19-year-old made 27 appearances during his time with the Chicago Fire, scoring eight goals including a spectacular brace against Toronto FC.
Durán is now the second teenager to make the switch from the Fire to the Premier League following his former teammate Gabriel “Gaga” Slonina, who currently plays for Chelsea.
The Chicago Fire have announced the agreement with Aston Villa for a club-record transfer of Jhon Duran.Sporting director Georg Heitz: “When we originally scouted Jhon as a 16-year-old, we knew that he had the potential to become one of the top young strikers in the world." https://t.co/cWtiKYAm5o
— Tom Bogert (@tombogert) January 17, 2023
Durán stands at just over six feet tall and is immensely quick. He lives on the shoulder of the last defender and thrives on the break as he flies in on goal. His eight goals scored from as many expected goals shows his finishing is clinical, but the Colombian is still young and needs to be polished before he can be a genuine starter in the Premier League. His new boss, Unai Emery, has a history of giving young talent their break, including Bukayo Saka back in 2018.
Jhon Duran is about to be insane under Unai Emery #AVFC pic.twitter.com/NqQnzlPlWZ— Jack Grimse (@JackGrimse) January 17, 2023
His transfer comes on the heels of another high-profile move from Chicago to the Premier League when Slonina swapped the Windy City for Stamford Bridge. The 18-year-old impressed during his time at Soldier Field, keeping 12 clean sheets in 32 appearances but has not yet made the jump to the first team for his new side. Instead, Slonina recently made his first appearance in the Premier League 2, keeping a clean sheet against Wolves U21.
Many other players have made the switch from MLS to England in recent years like Matt Turner, Ismaël Koné, Daryl Dike and Miguel Almirón, with the latter comfortably being the most successful. The Paraguayan was one of the best players in MLS with Atlanta United before crossing the Atlantic to join Newcastle. This season has been the best of the lot for the 28-year-old, having scored nine goals in 19 Premier League appearances.
Miggy Almiron's goal of the month winner against Fulham in the reverse fixture #NUFC pic.twitter.com/z79velQa5j— ToonArmy (@toonarmy_com) January 14, 2023
Only time will tell if Durán is a success under Emery, but anyone who has watched him torch defenses across MLS knows he has every chance of making the step up. We can’t wait to hear Villa fans chanting a clever rendition of “Hungry Like the Wolf” about the Colombian international.
3 - Jhon Durán is one of three players in @MLS history to record three multi-goal games before turning 19, along with Eddie Gaven and Ricardo Pepi. Premium. pic.twitter.com/JeJzW7iMFi— OptaJack⚽️ (@OptaJack) January 17, 2023