Aston Villa have the potential to be a real surprise package this season.
After escaping the Championship it was always going to be a struggle for the midlands side to compete in the Premier League.
But thankfully for supporter the club were able to survive their first season back.
After spending a substantial sum on new players, Dean Smith's side avoided relegation last season in the final knockings of the campaign, with Villa taking until the last game of the campaign to secure their survival.
That was a big achievement, but the focus has now switched to kicking on.
Aston Villa have spent around £74million so far this summer on a number of high quality additions.
They include moves for Matty Cash, Ollie Watkins, Emiliano Martinez and Bertrand Traore.
But while these deals represent a big move forward, the club are far from done.
Aston Villa have been linked to several Premier League players in the last week or so, including Ross Barkley and Ruben Loftus-Cheek.
Both players are out of favour under Chelsea head coach Frank Lampard and that means that they could be allowed to move on.
With Villa linked with a loan move for one of the two players, Dean Smith has addressed the speculation by confirming that the club are interested in bringing a midfielder to the club.
Speaking to The Express and Star, Smith said: "Midfield is an area we’re looking at where we feel we lack numbers.
“There are many players who are speculated upon all the time and we are looking to add more to the squad.
“We don’t want too many more because we don’t want to be stockpiling players but we want to add some quality where we can.
“We’ve got John McGinn, Douglas Luiz, Marvelous Nakamba, Conor Hourihane and Jack (Grealish) who can also play there but we feel he’s a bit more productive playing off the left, so we’re a little bit light in there.
"It’s certainly an area we’re looking at.”
GIVEMESPORT'S Phil Spencer says...
It certainly seems like a deal could be in the pipeline.
With Dean Smith now going on the record with his intentions to bring in another central midfielder, speculation is only going to intensify over the coming days.
Valued at £21.6million and £19.35m by Transfermarkt, Ruben Loftus-Cheek and Ross Barkley are just two of the names who have been linked with a move, but it striking a deal might not be as easy as they'd like.
Due to the rules in place, Aston Villa would only be able to sign one of the two Chelsea players discussed, meaning that Smith will likely have a big decision to make.
With just a few days left of the transfer window, it could be a busy time for the club as they look to get the deal done.
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