Spotlight: Predicting Aston Villa’s first season back in the top flight.

The 2019/20 Season


Contributed by Max WilkinsJoin The Team


The transfer window is closed and the new season, our first since promotion back to the Premier League, is now in full swing.

We started with a competitive away defeat to  Tottenham (3-1) and lost our opening home fixture to Bournemouth (1-2).

Embed from Getty Images

Transfer Window

This summer Villa brought in 12 players spending £127 million (before add-ons, totalling £144 million).

This is in vast contrast to last year in which we could barely afford to pay our tax bills before Nassef Sawiris and Wes Edens intervened to save us.

Over the course of the transfer window we let go of 15 players (not including outgoing loan players e.g Tammy Abraham). Realistically the players that we brought in improved our squad and plugged many gaps that needed to be filled.

The only potential downside to the window was that we didn’t bring in another striker to provide back-up to Wesley or another winger to fill out our attack more, just as we did with our defence.

Embed from Getty Images

 

“Players I am looking forward to seeing this season.”

There are many new and existing players that are a part of the squad for the upcoming season that I feel will flourish as a part of our Premier League squad.

THE REMAINERS

John McGinn

Embed from Getty Images

Last year’s player of the season John Mcginn was instrumental to our success last term. He made 42 appearances in which he scored 7 and assisted 9.

For a midfielder these stats are very impressive and as well as this he made 1.8 key passes, 1.9 dribbles and 2.1 tackles per game which shows how important he was in his first season in English football.

I genuinely think that he can keep up this amazing form in the Premier League due to his unique style of dribbling which allows him to retain possession, a huge asset in this division.

Jack Grealish

Embed from Getty Images

This is a very obvious choice for someone I’m looking forward to seeing face off against the best in the world.

Super Jack captained us to the promised land where we all want to be and as a lifelong Villa fan he has lived the dream. Since he had last played in the Premier League he has vastly matured as a person and a player, moving deeper and more central as time has gone on.

Last season Grealish returned 6 goals and 6 assists in 31 games.

This is a decent record considering his injury during the middle of the compaign as well as Grealish dropping deeper on many occasions to open up space for other players.  If Jack he can do this in the top lfight he may finally receive recognition and respect from opposition fans as well as England boss Gareth Southgate.

NEW FACES

Wesley

Embed from Getty Images

The big Brazilan joined Villa for a fee of approximately £22 million which stands as a club record fee at the time of writing.

Last season Wesley totalled 10 goals and 9 assists for Club Brugge in Beligian’s top flight.

From watching him in pre-season games he clearly isn’t a poacher type player, preferring to receive the ball to his feet or chest and bring others into the game, which explains why he got nearly as many assists as he did goals last season.

I am looking forward to seeing what he can do this term.  Villa fans will likely need to be patient as he may not score bucket loads, but has the potential to help to create goals for others in the side.

Jota

Embed from Getty Images

The Spaniard signed from Blues for between £2 and £4 million (plus Gary Gardner) and when he first joined was seen to be a squad player following an underwhelming period for Birmingham after a moving from Brentford.

Despite this first thought, in pre-season Jota has looked like a completely different animal than what was seen in the Championship with his slick dribbling, eye for a pass as well as an ability to interchange positions across the midfield.  Indeed, Jota is able to play on the right, left and centrally.

If his performances from friendlies can continue into the wider season, he may prove to be one of the bargains of the transfer window, much like John McGinn previously.

LOOKING BACK

“What I’ll miss from the Championship”.

Plain and simply, I will not miss very much about the Championship.

It remains a very tough league, where the highs are very high and the lows are much lower than low.

Although I will miss going into almost every game with the confidence that we can win, there are many aspects that I dislike and that I won’t look back on with fondness.

In the 2017/18 season I remember us winning 7 games in a row and moving up one place, we lost the game after our 7th win and moved back down a place.

The sheer tightness of the league is something I certainly won’t miss.

As a neutral it is fun to watch as you never know who will win, but that is a novelty you don’t want to experience as fan of a side in the division.

I also won’t miss the referees as the the general poor quality of officiating on a regular basis, on many occasions ruined many good performances.  The ‘hand of Rod’ incident springs to mind against West Brom at The Hawthorns.

I have enjoyed parts of our time in the Championship, with some memorable moments (Hutton against Blues, anyone?) and results that ultimately lead to our promotion at Wembley via the play-offs.  Despite these positives, it was certainly the time to get up and move on.

Season Prediction

I think that we will come 14th this season.

Ultimately, I believe this because of the quality we have brought in and the quality that we already possess.

There are many other teams around us that I feel have much worse squads and if we were to perform as well as I think we can under Dean Smith, I feel that we will have a memorable first season back in the Premier League.

In saying this I would also be very happy with a 17th place finish, in which we can use as a platform to consolidate and build upon the season after.

I do think that we will have a good season overall and I look forward to seeing what we can do once we get to grips with the league. UTV


Contributed by Max WilkinsJoin The Team

FREE Villa NewsletterSUBSCRIBE NOW!
+ +