The European transfer window is wide open, with the Premier League returning to normality by staying open just as long as the other leagues. In celebration and recognition of this, Millsy’s View is going to go through the Premier League and analyse where they need to strengthen, as well as possible targets for them.
This time, it is the turn of Aston Villa F.C., who last season escaped relegation by the absolute skin of their teeth. Just one goal for West Ham on the final day of the Premier League season would have been enough to send them down, indeed it looked like it might have been going that way in the weeks before, having spent 17 game weeks in the relegation zone in total.
However, as it happened, they survived and Dean Smith deserves a huge pat on the back for dragging Aston Villa out of the relegation zone and keeping such a huge club in the division they belong in.
Aston Villa F.C.
Where Do They Need To Strengthen?
After making a slew of signings last season once they made it into the Premier League, the team didn’t seem to gel at all over the season. Next season, then, I don’t really expect them to make wholesale changes, of course depending on whether they sell Jack Grealish, who carried them last time out.
Goal scoring isn’t one of their major problem areas, as they actually outscored seven other teams in the Premier League, including Sheffield United, who finished 9th overall. However, the fact of the matter is that Grealish was their top scorer with just 8 goals, so a name striker in that department could serve them well.
Perhaps, then, they need to sign some defenders, especially to give the likes of Tyrone Mings a challenger, who was class to begin with, even earning himself an England appearance, before his form took a nosedive…off a cliff.
Who Needs To Go?
In terms of who Aston Villa need to sell, the candidates are many and the quality is little. Firstly, they have 5 keepers on the books, so selling Nyland, who was very poor when he came in, could be one of the players to go. Another player, Jota, was signed at the start of last season from local rivals Birmingham City, causing a furore, but then for long periods didn’t feature in the squad, despite not being injured.
Neil Taylor, in defence, was another to have a criminal season, even though he only made 11 Premier League appearances, he was really poor when he made it onto the pitch. Mbwana Samatta was signed in January 2020 and went on to make 14 Premier League appearances, but could only contribute 1 goal, despite being bought to give them some extra firepower up front. Honestly, Aston Villa this window need to take a serious look at their squad and cut some of the wheat from the chaff.
Who Could They Bring In?
With all of the rumours floating around Jack Grealish and his potential price tag, should he leave then Aston Villa would have a nice kitty to bring in some big signings. On Monday, they were linked with the likes of Divock Origi from Liverpool, who could provide that firepower up front they are looking for and be that name signing that I alluded to earlier. I think that he would be an excellent signing for them, he has lots of Premier League and big game experience by now, he is powerful and has a great finish on him.
Said Benrahma of Brentford is one of the names on the list, who has scored 17 and assisted 9 in the Championship this season. He has looked fantastic this season and could be the perfect partner for Grealish should they keep hold of him.
Finally, another striker that they’re lining up appears to be a youngster from Norwich City called Ruben Shakpoke, who apparently scored 11 goals in one game for their youth team. He may still be a bit young to be a regular Premier League player, but Villa are appearing to be looking on the right lines in terms of their transfer dealings.