The summer transfer window is quickly approaching and there are plenty of bargains to be had for Aston Villa
Aston Villa’s failure to fill their nine-man bench in recent weeks hammers home the fact that Unai Emery will add to his squad this summer.
The head coach has stressed how his current group of players “is enough” knowing Villa have just 11 Premier League games remaining and aren’t in any cup competitions.
In January, Villa opted to break away from making any trigger-happy deals and, instead, have prioritised this summer to shape Emery’s squad ready to compete for European qualification.
A new centre-back is an option, as is adding competition at right-back with Ashley Young’s future still unclear as he enters the final few weeks of his current contract. The midfield department will be added to, while Villa’s most-pressing need is out wide and in attack. Emery wants an “experienced striker” within his ranks next season to play up and alongside Ollie Watkins. The manager has also stressed his desire to sign “a specific winger” with Villa choosing not to do that in January.
Looking ahead to the summer, club insiders believe Villa could well surpass the £130m spent back in 2019 following promotion. Those constantly linked with a move to Villa Park – the likes of Pedro Goncalves and Matteo Guendouzi – will demand high prices. However, there’s bargain deals to be had as Villa proved last summer following the signing of Boubacar Kamara on a free transfer.
Now, should Villa opt to repeat their Kamara transfer trick, there’s plenty of top-level performers coming to the end of their current contracts. Defensively, Inigo Martinez (Athletic Bilbao) and Chris Smalling (AS Roma) will become free agents this summer should Villa look to upgrade their options at centre-back. At right-back, Rennes captain Hamari Traore could be an option, likewise Matt Doherty (Spurs) and Vladimir Coufal (West Ham).
Moving into midfield and Emery wants competition for places next season with Villa planning to fight hard on three fronts in the Premier League, Carabao Cup and FA Cup. Dani Ceballos (Real Madrid) and Youri Tielemans (Leicester City) would be grade A signings on free transfers. Former Man City and Girona pass-master Aleix Garcia could also be an option to add to Villa’s midfield next season.
Looking at the front-end of the pitch and Villa want an out-and-out winger to provide goals and assists next season. Marco Asensio’s deal with Real Madrid is coming to and end and there’s a link with his Gestifute representatives the same as Emery’s. Wilfried Zaha (Crystal Palace) and Jonathan Bamba (LOSC Lille) will also become free agents in July.
To Villa’s desired need for an experienced striker and, staying with soon-to-be free agents, there aren’t many more experienced than Andrea Belotti (AS Roma) or Moussa Dembele (Olympique Lyonnais). Marcus Thuram, scorer of 15 goals in 26 appearances this season, is also amongst the summer free agent list with the Borussia Monchengladbach striker in high demand.