Aston Villa will be one of a few clubs who underperformed last season that will be competing with Sheffield Wednesday for promotion next season according to Sheffield Wednesday boss Carlos Carvalhal who spoke to the Sheffield Star.
His side missed out on promotion after failing in the playoffs for the second season running and he has suggested that just making the top six next season; could prove difficult. Already football betting site‘s are favouring Aston Villa to win the league next season.
Carvalhal feels that Aston Villa and Derby County will be among the clubs that will improve in the upcoming season, after disappointing seasons last time around.
“It will be more difficult,” Carvalhal said. “There were teams like Huddersfield, Leeds and Fulham who challenged for promotion last season who people didn’t expect.
“There were some teams who we expected to be involved in the play-offs like Norwich, Derby and Aston Villa who will be stronger next season.”
Villa and Derby came into this season as two of the favourites for promotion but failed to live up to expectations. Aston Villa could only manage to finish in a mid-table spot, and Derby County didn’t fare much better. They ended the season in ninth place – 13 points away from the play-off spots.
Villa is expected to make serious alterations to their squad this summer, as they prepare for the new term.
In order for Villa to push on next season, we will have to look to strengthen in a few areas and Steve Bruce hasn’t hidden his desire to bring a new central defender to the club in the summer transfer window. He is keen on strengthening Villa’s defence by finding adequate competition for first choice pairing James Chester and Nathan Baker to bolster a defence that kept 14 clean sheets in the Championship last season.
Tommy Elphick played bit parts last season, while former Manchester City man Micah Richards was available was never utilised as Bruce preferred to use Mile Jedinak at the back at times.
Former Blackburn Rovers defender Chris Samba has been training with Villa first team since February in attempt to win a contract but there has been no mention of a permanent stay as of yet and there have even been rumours that he could sign for local rivals Birmingham City
So, who could Bruce swoop for this summer? Regardless of who he brings in other managers are keeping a close eye on what happens at Villa Park over the summer months.