Aston Villa could be one of the Premier League’s dark horses in the transfer market this summer. Deals for Philippe Coutinho, Diego Carlos and Boubacar Kamara highlight the club’s ambition, while Steven Gerrard will be keen to really make his mark at Villa Park during a first off-season at the helm.
Dean Jones has provided GIVEMESPORT with a must-read guide for Aston Villa’s transfer window.
Where do Aston Villa want to strengthen this summer?
Everywhere – they might even sign a new captain! Steven Gerrard is looking to lift the level of the side in every area and it means almost no one in the current squad is safe from new competition for the shirt.
Who could Aston Villa sign?
They want to raise the bar as much as possible – hence the very early announcements on Coutinho, Kamara and Carlos. In terms of central midfield, it was clear that Gerrard wanted to sign someone with a solid reputation and the position has also now been fixed with Boubacar Kamara arriving from Marseille. It’s an unbelievable start to the window.
We should not totally rule out the idea of another midfielder arriving but it is unlikely to be someone at the level of Leeds United’s Kalvin Phillips or Brighton’s Yves Bissouma. Possibly Glen Kamara of Glasgow Rangers is still in mind though, with Gerrard previously labelling the 26-year-old as a “class act”.
Perhaps the strangest link so far has been James Rodriguez, who does not seem to fit the type of player Gerrard would be looking for.
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One dream signing for the Villans this summer?
They already have them: Coutinho, Carlos and Kamara. The vision of Villa is to become the best of the rest. Breaking into the top six is extremely ambitious but being that seventh club – competing with teams like West Ham and Wolves – is realistic. In order to get there though, Villa needed signings to change the mindset.
If we are going to dream though, how about Luis Suarez? An experienced striker with premium pedigree is something Gerrard would love to add and there can be no doubt that he has his old Liverpool pal on the radar. Throughout his career, Suarez has scored an incredible 436 goals at club level, including 13 for Atletico this season.
Who’s leaving Villa Park?
Half the side are being linked with moves but in terms of significant departures it will be particularly interesting to see how things pan out for £28.8m-rated Tyrone Mings and £22.5m-rated Ezri Konsa, who Gerrard is supporting publicly. Douglas Luiz seems to be one they could move on while forgotten man Morgan Sanson looks sure to go. There has to be doubt too over whether Bertrand Traore is still at the club by next season.
Biggest challenge at Villa this summer?
Balancing the squad. At this moment in time it is difficult to understand how Emi Buendia and Leon Bailey fit in when also recruiting someone like Coutinho. Sources are indicating that those two should not be included in any list of potential departures yet you do wonder whether Gerrard can keep them both in his plans going forward, while also strengthening his attacking options.