In my previous article, I explained that we still have a bloated squad. Whilst this remains true, we also need to bring in new players fairly quickly. Our first Premier League match is a matter of weeks away and some bookmakers and journalists consider the Villans to be candidates for relegation.
There is no need to panic – yet.
The signings we have made so far have been good and against Swindon Town on Tuesday and Forest Green on Wednesday we got a slightly better idea of who Sherwood envisages in his first team squad. If we were to play Bournemouth tomorrow, the starting XI would be something like Brad Guzan, Jordan Amavi, Ciaran Clark, Micah Richards, Alan Hutton, Ashley Westwood, Idrissa Gueye, Carles Gil, Jack Grealish, Scott Sinclair and Gabby Agbonlahor, with the likes of Carlos Sánchez , Jores Okore, Leandro Bacuna and Nathan Baker fighting for places (if Sánchez and Okore were fit).
We all know that two strikers are required. With one of them likely to be Adebayor on loan, the other will probably be a younger, less well known striker from Europe.
What else do we need to do to be competitive?
Sherwood recently stated that Brad Guzan will start the season as number one but it is obvious, given that he dropped him last season and then supposedly bid for Begović, that he doesn’t rate him highly. Guzan also made a few mistakes during the recent Gold Cup while he was on international duty so the goalkeeping situation at Aston Villa will need to be addressed at some point.
Is Carlos Sánchez going to be the same player as the one who plays for Colombia? He will get another shot this season but we desperately need him to cut out the silly mistakes and improve his concentration. We need another midfielder, preferably a marquee signing to get the fans excited. Idrissa Gueye is a box-to-box player and it would be great if we could add another like him to the ranks to create real energy in the middle of the park. When Delph said he was staying, Sherwood presumably stopped searching for another midfielder, which is yet another example of how Fibian Wealth really has caused damage to the club.
Leandro Bacuna isn’t a right back and it has been reported in The Birmingham Mail on more than one occasion that Hutton will be allowed to move on if he wishes to do so. Micah Richards has played at centre back during pre-season so do we need another right back? Spurs seem to have four. Could Tim raid his old club?
We are being heavily linked to wide players. As Charles N’Zogbia didn’t play against Swindon, it indicates that he may have had his last shot. This is another area where it would be great to see a marquee signing. There are too many names to speculate on here but we do need another option.
We have seen from the recent friendlies that we have some really interesting youth players. Ricky Calder and Jerell Sellars in particular have caught the eye and Niall Mason is highly thought of as he came from Southampton and started his career at Real Madrid. I expect to see more of the development squad on the bench throughout the season as the likes of Joe Cole and Philippe Senderos are not the future of our club.
The signings we make have to be first team quality. I expect we will get a central midfielder, a winger and two strikers but would like to see Sherwood signing a goalkeeper and a right back as well.
With just over five weeks until transfer deadline day, there is work to be done. Good luck Tim, Tom et al.