The loan market is something that teams in the football league look to exploit and so they should. It is an opportunity for the top clubs to send out young promising players to gain experience of first-team football. In return, lower league sides get potential gems for pennies and in some cases free. If it works out, then great but if it doesn’t then the lower league side can send the player back with virtually no outlay.
Until recently, Villa never seemed to look at the loan market. It was as if it was beneath them. Then last season, we sore the likes of Robert Snodgrass and Lewis Grabban have successful loan spells at the club.
This week Chelsea announced that they would be prepared to send out a couple of their promising stars out on loan.
Hudson-Odoi is the first player I believe Dean Smith should take a look at. I understand that we currently have five players at the club on loan but not all of those have worked out so far. Anwar El-Ghazi and Andre Moreira could both be returned to their parent clubs if we have an option.
This could make room for Hudon-Odoi who would be a like for like replacement for El-Ghazi. The winger looks a real talented lad and would have something to prove. It could prove to be a real coup for Smith.
Many predicted that the 18-year-old would break into the Chelsea first team this season but he hasn’t so far under manager Maurizio Sarri. Despite impressing in pre-season and the Europa League this year the youngster has also refused to sign a new deal. He seems to be a player who wants to play football and not just take a big wage each week.
Hudson-Odoi reportedly wanted to leave Chelsea on loan in the summer but was denied. A loan deal in January could be a sweetener in convincing the youngster to sign a new deal with the Blues. Either that or they risk losing him on a free in the summer.
Defence is a clear weakness for Aston Villa. The panic this week with James Chester potentially missing the game against Birmingham has highlighted this.
I think we could re-visit Chelsea to help strengthen in this position. Step up 18-year-old defender Ethan Ampadu. He has the ability to play in defence and defensive midfield which would make him a versatile option for Smith.
He signed for Chelsea in 2017 from Exeter City for around £2.5million. He featured in the League Cup last season against both Nottingham Forest and Everton. The defender has already made his debut for Wales in a friendly against France in November 2017.
Just like Hudson-Odoi, Ampadu is eager for first-team football to prove himself. He would add much-needed cover and competition in two positions which can prove to be priceless these days. I am not a fan of playing defensive midfielders but that is for a different article on another day.
By adding these two to the ranks, I believe we could really push on for a top-two finish.