Next Monday night, the transfer window will slam shut, which makes this week a pivotal one for many of the clubs fighting at the bottom of the Premier League. Many managers will be bolstering their squads for the rest of the season. New signings can be the difference between staying up and getting relegated and transfer dealings have worked in our favour before, particularly with the acquisition of Darren Bent from Sunderland in 2011. This time around, we have had to settle with only one new signing, the Spaniard Carles Gil, as Paul Lambert insisted that signing the midfielder was probably the sum of Aston Villa Football Club’s incoming transfer activity. If so, how damaging will the failure to acquire more players be to the club?
The exciting prospect that is Carles Gil made his debut against Liverpool. He looked keen to get the ball forward and play it into advanced areas, things that we have failed to do this season. The problem with Carles Gil is that it will take him time to really settle to the pace of the Premier League, just like it did with his former Elche team-mate Carlos Sanchez. Gil is an unknown quantity too, which is worrying when the Villans are likely to be involved in a relegation battle.
I think that it is dangerous not to add to the squad before the February 2nd deadline. It has been reported that talks with Scott Sinclair broke down. I wasn’t especially bothered by this as I question the player’s desire to play Premier League football: it seems Sinclair is happy to make his money by sitting on the bench every now and then for Manchester City.
There are other players out there besides Scott Sinclair and this seems to have eluded Lambert or those above him. To Villa fans, it appears that Lambert put all of his hopes into getting the winger when he needed to look elsewhere. We need to get another striker to freshen things up. Darren Bent has now gone – something the manager has clearly wanted for a while – so we’ve let a striker go and not replaced him.
I’m sure I speak for a lot of Villa supporters when I say that I have virtually no confidence in Andi Weimann and Gabby Agbonlahor to drag us out of this relegation struggle. Both players have been incredibly disappointing this season yet they are both constantly selected for the first team squad. Just one striker, even if it is an unknown one from Europe, could spark some some life into our front line. Just look at Ayoze Perez at Newcastle – a cheap player from Tenerife who he has scored more goals than any of our players.
Without signing a forward, we put a lot of pressure on Libor Kozak when he returns from his long-term injury. He started well for Villa before he suffered the training ground injury which has kept him out of action since the start of last year. Kozak provides necessary competition for our strikers and he could be what we need alongside Benteke in a bid to find goals but he will need time to regain his fitness and sharpness.
If Lambert signed even one more player in this transfer window it would give me more confidence that we can fight to stay in the Premier League. However, the player would have to be attacking-minded and able to weigh in with some goals of his own, not just another Tom Cleverley.