Results have gone from good to bad to very, very bad indeed and, with fans’ patience with Lambert running out, it is time for Lerner to dig deep into his pockets and let Lambert splash some cash on much needed reinforcements. In recent press conferences, Lambert has stated the obvious: he needs to buy experienced players. This is an understatement really and is something all Villa fans have realised for some time.
I have decided to try to help Lambert by listing three players who could fit our bill perfectly in terms of transfer fees, the infamous wage budget and attributes.
I believe we need a creative midfielder, a centre half and also a striker who has the instinctive touch we need while lurking in the bottom half of the Premier League table.
Centre half: John Heitinga
The Everton centre back wants a move in January and, due to his contract situation, he should be a fairly cheap player to get hold of. The Dutchman could link up well with Ron Vlaar and has plenty of experience under his belt to help guide the team. He is built like a tank, unlike Nathan Baker and Ciaran Clark. Heitinga was quoted as saying,
“The interest is there, so I’m confident that I can find another club before January 31st. I want to play every game again because I still have a huge appetite for the game. I am fit and as a footballer in the prime of my life.”
Heitinga meets our needs perfectly and even as a short-term solution is worth a shot. I believe he is available for a couple of million pounds based on West Ham’s bid the other day. I have always admired his ability and as he is a Dutch international he is a must buy for me.
Creative midfielder: Wes Hoolahan
His name has been flung around in the press for some time and I would love to see him at Villa Park. Available for around £1.5 million, the Irish international has shown what he can do in the Premier League when given time by Lambert when at Norwich. Hoolahan can dictate games with the cutting edge assists Villa need and works wonders with a dead ball too. He is cheap and offers a great repertoire of tricks to get the ball forward to a clinical striker, like Grant Holt in his Norwich days. He suits Lambert’s bill perfectly and he really is Lambert’s player. Despiute Hughton denying Hoolahan will leave, a move is definitely possible.
Striker: Nikica Jelavic
Jelavic is another forgotten Everton man with a lot to offer. I believe he could be the perfect man for Benteke to link up with given that Kozak is out for the remainder of the season. The Croat is powerful with the ball at his feet and in the air. With Martinez opting for Lukaku and Kone over Jelavic, I can hardly see Everton kicking and screaming to keep Jelavic at the club. His recent brace in the FA cup against QPR highlighted the ability he still possesses with the right players behind him to feed him the ball. He should be on Lambert’s radar as the price tag would not exceed £5 million and wages are not that high at Everton in all honesty.
The three players I have suggested could, I believe, propel us up the table as they offer all the attributes needed and fit Villa and Lambert’s structure.
Any suggestions you may have are welcome so feel free to comment and share your thoughts.