The transfer window is open, enabling all clubs to sell, buy or loan players. Aston Villa Football Club has seen two new additions to the ranks this summer as Micah Richards and Scott Sinclair both joined the club from Manchester City.
With the start of the Barclays Premier League season five weeks away, the month of July is a crucial one for Aston Villa Football Club.
July 7th will bring us the unveiling of the new kits. I looked at the teaser photographs that were on the official website and one picture caught my attention (as I’m sure many it did many other Villa fans’).
As you can see, our main man, Christian Benteke, is pictured within the number seven, leading some to assume that he is going to stay with us. If that is the case then we would all welcome it as fantastic news for the club. The Benteke situation has not been great for Aston Villa, with the striker constantly in the news as speculation regarding a move to Liverpool intensifies. Now that I have seen this teaser, I am more confident that he will stay: releasing this image would be an utter embarrassment if the Belgian’s move to Merseyside is as close as some believe it to be.
Next week, the Villa players will return to training in preparation for the new season. The Villans are set to travel to Portugal, where they will experience a warm weather training camp from July 9th – 18th. This trip will see them play a series of friendlies against Fulham, Bristol City and Sporting Braga as they improve get into game shape and up to game speed.
After their time in Albufeira, the Villans will return to England and play against Swindon Town, Walsall, Wolverhampton Wanderers and Nottingham Forest. The last match, against Forest, takes place a week before the start of the Premier League season, when the Villans take on Premier League newcomers the Cherries. On paper, the Villa boys should win all of their pre-season games but what is more important is that the friendlies will give Sherwood a chance to be experimental in his team selections.
With the pre-season campaign in full swing, speculation about transfers will increase and all eyes will be on the press as Villa fans wait anxiously for news regarding a takeover. If a takeover is indeed going to happen, it will ideally be confirmed within the next two weeks. If a change of ownership hasn’t been officially confirmed by mid-July, I would expect the takeover to have fallen through.
Irrespective of the takeover, more signings are likely. We have all read many reports about players like Tom Carroll and Idrissa Gueye, a player the club has apparently tabled a bid of approximately £9 million for, joining the Villans. If the rumours regarding Gueye are true, this suggests that Lerner is still happy to spend, which would seem unlikely with a takeover imminent, or that Aston Villa Football Club does have a new owner who is prepared to invest in new players. Whatever is happening, it is clear that Tim Sherwood needs to spend serious money during this transfer window.
By the time our final friendly rolls around, I would hope that the manager has secured the players he wants and is clear as to which players he wants to see in his starting XI for the new Premier League season. Issues regarding a takeover, if there is indeed to be one, need to be resolved as quickly as possible to ensure a smooth transition and to allow the new owner to invest in the squad so that Sherwood, assuming he remains at the helm, can deliver on his promise that the Villans won’t be battling relegation again next season.