With Villa having had a very productive close-season improving the squad, there do remain a couple of outstanding areas requiring reinforcement.
As we’ve written previously, Villa aren’t afforded a great amount of cover at centre half.
Additionally, last season should serve as a recent reminder of the need to have enough strength in depth up front.
Although then record signing Brazilian Wesley struggled to adapt to the Premier League initially, his season was on an upward trajectory prior to a season ending knee injury on New Years Day.
That injury, as well as Tom Heaton’s suffered on the same day, compounded a period of deteriorating form which saw Villa fighting for survival until the final day of the season.
Ollie Watkins has started superbly following a £33 million transfer from Brentford. However, with a long season ahead, dare Villa be completely reliant upon the 24 year old for goals? Fatigue, suspension and injury should not be readily dismissed; they are part and parcel of any campaign.
Villa remain decidedly light in terms of outright attacking options.
Keinan Davis was deserving of his recent contract extension, but is yet to register a Premier League goal. The 22 year old was also the subject of interest from a number of Championship sides, eager to take him on loan.
What with Wesley out until after Christmas, Vassilev out on loan with Burton and forward Bertrand Traore more realisitically an attacking midfielder, Smith must sure be looking for a decent short term stop gap.
It’s not surprise therefore that in recent weeks attention has turned to Bournemouth’s Josh King.
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There have been regular links to the Norwegian international who the south-coast club appear resigned to losing. The 28 year old is available for a fee in the region of £10m.
King suspiciously missed out on Bournemouth’s trip to Coventry at the weekend, with a migraine given as a reason for his absence. He is expected to link up with the Norway squad ahead of a trio of fixtures across the next fortnight.
The latest reports indicate that an increasingly desperate West Brom, struggling badly since promotion, are now in for the striker.
Italian side Torino had a derisory bid rejected, apparently now leaving the door open for Villa and West Brom to battle for the 48 time goalscorer.
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