Potential Aston Villa signings
Aston Villa gained promotion back to the premier league on Monday 27th of May, beating Derby to a place in the Premier League for the 2019/20 season.
With promotion through the play-offs, comes a large sum of prize money and new income revenue from advertisements and tv deals.
This sum includes £170 million over 3 seasons as well as an extra £95 million in further revenue.
Villa have recently released a large number of players from their books.
These players are Jedinak, Hutton, Adomah, Whelan, De Laet, Bunn and Richards. With these departures, we are very thin in many positions and throughout this I will outline who I think Villa should sign to improve and stay in the Premier League.
Other than Glenn Whelan there was no surprises that any of these players were released as they most likely wouldn’t make any impact in the premier league. Ross McCormack was also paid off and released which was met by praise by Villa fans.
The main positions that are needed to be filled are centre back, full back, defensive midfielder, right winger and striker. In these positions we are lacking and to stay up in the premier league next season we will need to add players of quality but also keep some continuity to be successful.
Tyrone Mings should be one of the first players that Dean Smith and Purslow have to get through the Bodymoor Heath doors this summer. He was on loan at Villa last season from Bournemouth and was a goliath as we went on an 11 match unbeaten run culminating in promotion through the play offs. There have been reports that Villa have a clause where if another offer is made by another club we can match it and our offer has to be accepted over the other club. The rumoured price that Bournemouth want for Mings is £15 million which for the quality that he added after his debut against Reading at the start of February. The 20 games before Mings’ debut Villa had conceded 33 goals and the 20 further games after his debut we conceded 18. This shows how much quality that Mings added to the defence when compared to how it was before his arrival. £15 million for the quality that he gave to the defence is nothing and he should be snapped up as soon as possible. He also clearly loves the club as images came out of Mings in his full Villa kit the night after the Play Off final in Bournemouth train station.
Gary Cahill has recently been released from Chelsea as his contract ran out. Cahill won almost everything in his 191 appearances in Chelsea including 2 premier leagues, 2 FA cups, 1 league cup, 1 champions league and 2 Europa league titles. He became club captain at Chelsea when John Terry left and clearly has very high quality leadership skills. This would be a good signing if Villa were to sign him on a free as he will provide a large amount of premier league experience which the squad is lacking at the moment and he also adds another leader to the dressing room which Villa will be missing without Whelan, Jedinak and Elphick. Cahill also has strong links to Villa having come through the youth academy and even scoring a world class goal against Birmingham City as well as being good friends with John Terry. If he can be signed on smaller wages than his current £85,000+ at Chelsea on a rolling contract this would be a very worthwhile signing to help keep us up.
James Justin is a 21-year-old full back that currently plays for Luton Town. He has been part of the Luton squad that has achieved 2 promotions in 2 seasons and resulting in Luton going from League 2 to the Championship. Justin clearly possesses very good qualities that could be useful to Villa in the premier league. He has played a wide array of different positions for Luton including right back, left back, defensive midfielder and wide midfielder. His strongest position is full back as he won Luton young player of the year and the left back spot in the league one team of the season. He is likely to cost around £10 million which sounds like a large amount of money considering his experience but he has large amounts of quality and when teams such as Leicester are also linked he must be a decent player. I think that he fits in with what Dean Smith is trying to build with young players and he would be a good player to solve our left back predicament.
James Tavernier is a full back that currently players for Rangers in the Scottish Premier League. He is 27 and has been at rangers since 2015 and has made 147 appearances. This season has been his best ever season, he scored 17 goals and assisted 20 goals in 57 appearances across all competitions including the Europa League. His large amount of goals is mainly consisting of 14 penalties but he clearly has lots of quality which would be useful for Villa. Tavernier was also involved in keeping 24 clean sheets across all competitions. He would be a have a cost of around £6 million as he has had a very good season and is a very important player in Steven Gerrard’s side. He has good experience and has a high quality set piece delivery which could potentially be deadly. He can also cover a variety of positions which would give needed squad depth in Dean Smith’s side for the upcoming season.
Valentin Rongier is a 24-year-old midfielder that currently plays for Nantes in Ligue 1. He is a central midfielder that can play deeper or more offensively. In 43 appearances in all competitions he scored 4 goals and got 7 assists, he is a very technical player and often scores his goals by drifting into the box late and making the most of cut backs from his team mates. He will cost around £15 million and Villa will face competition from fellow premier league side Leicester City who are looking for a midfielder to replace on loan midfielder Youri Tielemans. He would be a good option for Villa as they look to fill their squad with good quality players and Rongier’s versatility could potentially be vital to Villa’s first season back in the Premier League.
Kalvin Phillips is a 23-year-old defensive midfielder that plays for Leeds United in the championship. He played 46 games in a season that almost saw Leeds promoted back to the premier league. He is a very versatile player who can play in defensive midfield or across the backline. He isn’t the type of player that scores lots of goals or gets assists, he stops opposition attacks and starts the attack for his team. He has got all the attributes of a good central midfielder as he is strong, good at tackling and is a good passer of the ball. He has a successful pass percentage of 82%, this is impacted by the fact that he attempts lots of long balls but he does succeed in making 5 long passes a game which could be made useful by having fast wingers and a tall striker who can exploit the space in behind. For the price of £7-£10 million (Edit: although reports suggest a fee could far exceed this) he could be a decent signing as a rotation player for Villa next season.
Said Benrahma is a 23-year-old winger that currently plays for Brentford. He is a winger that can play on the right or the left wing and is very skilful. He played 45 games across all competitions this season and he scored 11 goals and got 17 assists. This puts him on an elite list of players to have 10+ goals and assists, this list includes players like Messi, Hazard and Sterling. Villa have already placed a bid that has been rejected rumoured to be around £10 million, I think that if we can get him for less than £15 million, he would be a good signing but realistically if the cost is more than that I don’t think that he will be worth the price. Although he is a good player other options that are more experienced would be a better idea. But for less than £15 million I think that he will be a good player for us in the premier league.
Jarrod Bowen currently plays for Hull City and is a 22-year-old who can play across the front line. He played in every single game in the championship for Hull this season in which he scored 22 goals and got 4 assists in a Hull side that flirted with the play offs towards the end of the season under Nigel Atkins. He would cost upwards of £15 million and would be worthwhile signing as Villa go into the premier league. He was involved in 40% of Hull City’s goals last season which shows how much of an impactful player he could be if he was to join this season. He has played across the front line at right wing and left wing but he also played as a second striker in a 2 striker formation on many occasions which allowed him to score as many goals as he did. His dad is a Villa fan and despite him saying he isn’t this could be a dream move to his dad’s favourite team.
Tammy Abraham is currently back at Chelsea having spent last year with Villa, experiencing one of the best seasons of his career, scoring 25 goals and setting up a further 3. He showed that he has lots of great qualities last season including holding up the ball, aerial dominance as well as being effective as a pressing striker. He has played in the premier league before enduring an underwhelming season in which he scored 8 goals and assisted 5 which for his age was decent but based off his previous season, wasn’t as high a standard. He would cost between £20 and £30 million, for the current climate of the market for a 21-year-old English striker that would be a reasonable price. With Villa having already signing Wesley for £22 million also signing Abraham may be steep in terms of funds. If Villa can pay the money, he would be another good signing and would be more continuity which is needed to stay up next season.
Overall I think that if Villa can bring in some of these players they could be successful next season. More players that I have talked about on this list will be needed but I think that these players will provide a solid foundation for our premier league campaign.
Newly promoted Villa are given relatively long 4/1 odds of a chance to finish in the top ten of the Premier League according to My Top Sportsbooks.
Optimists will point to Wolves’ performance last year, finishing 7th in their first season back in the top flight. However, realists will note that Wolves won the Championship by nine points and had a +43 goal difference the year prior.
Villa by comparison managed 5th with a +21 goal difference, and needed to overcome West Brom on penalties in the EFL playoffs semi-finals. Villa’s first-year coaching combo of Dean Smith and John Terry didn’t neccessarily have this team performing better, on the whole, even though they did achieve their ultimate goal of promotion.