Now the season is over and the dust has settled, it’s been overall a good one for Aston Villa, with the club finishing eleventh. Sure, after the whirlwind start to the season and smashing Liverpool 7-2 back in October, fans started to dream of Europe. Yet, let’s not forget, before a ball had even been kicked, most pundits had the club as relegation candidates and they’ve ended up safe and sound in mid-table.
So, with Ollie Watkins seamlessly making the transition from the Championship to the Premier League, Tyrone Mings winning nearly every aerial duel, and Emi Martinez’s commanding presence in goal, Villa have a great foundation to build upon. Therefore, it’s important that the owners and Dean Smith add some quality gems to really keep the momentum going into next season and upgrade the squad.
Here then is a quick rundown of some statement signings Villa could make this summer.
It’s no secret that Ollie Watkins has had a remarkable season. The player came to Villa from Brentford last September with high expectations and a big price tag, but he’s gone above and beyond them by netting sixteen goals in thirty-six appearances so far. Yet, it’s also fair to say that Watkins could use some help up top, and that’s where the signing of another striker would be advantageous, especially if Watkins was then shifted out wide.
Tammy Abraham is a name that has been thrown about in many transfer stories after Chelsea’s number nine has been harshly frozen out by their manager Thomas Tuchel. This is despite the twenty-three-year-old being Chelsea’s joint-top goalscorer and him being a regular starter under Frank Lampard before Lampard was sacked in January. Chelsea have officially slapped a £40 million price tag on Tammy. Whilst that may be a bit high, after his last successful loan spell at Villa you’d think the towering forward would jump at the chance to return to Villa Park and help power the club to the next level.
What an end to the season Jesse Lingard had. The pacey winger that was unwanted at Manchester United has been reborn playing on loan at West Ham. The twenty-eight-year-old has scored an immense nine goals in only fifteen appearances for the East-London club. However, there’s been no decision yet for the player to stay at the London Stadium and should Smith give him a call, Villa would be an ideal destination for Lingard long-term. With the team calling out for more wide attacking players, Lingard would fit that role perfectly and bring all his experience and skill to the club. What with Lingard getting re-called to the England squad towards the back end of the season and many other teams after him, pulling off this transfer would show how much ambition Villa have going forward.
With both Mings and Jack Grealish making Gareth Southgate’s Euro 2020 squad, it’s set to be an exciting tournament for Villa fans. England are one of the favourites to go far in the competition and are priced at around 5/1 at the best U.K. betting sites. SBO.net has gathered a list of trusted online bookmakers that offer a mammoth number of betting markets and fantastic sign-up offers. This means if you do choose to put money on the tournament, you know you’re getting the best deals.
Ok, not technically a new signing, but if Villa were able to hang onto the twenty-five-year-old and shield him from the likes of ‘the big six’ then it would really put out a statement that this season was not a one-off. It would show the ambition that the club have and that they want to make the jump to the next level. Grealish is at home at Villa Park and proudly wears the captain’s armband every match-day, and it’s clear that he loves scoring at the Holte End as much as the Holte End loves watching him do it.
Despite that, with Manchester City keeping a keen eye on the English star, it will only be natural that Grealish’s head will be slightly turned. It will be up to the club this summer then, to sit down with one of the most talented players in the league and remind him that Villa is the best place for him. After all, as Leicester and West Ham have shown this season, it is possible for a well-backed manager to take on the big boys at the top of the table. So why not Dean Smith and Aston Villa to make a charge for European competition next season?