After an incredible transfer window that saw big-money signings come through the door, Dean Smith must be on cloud nine after the start Aston Villa have enjoyed to the new Premier League season.
Smith’s side find themselves in the heady heights of second, with three wins from three, and a 7-2 thrashing of reigning champions Liverpool still very much fresh in the memory.
Now, whilst things have been plain sailing now for the Midlands club, the Villa boss does have a headache once the international break is over.
Smith has an incredible array of attacking options at his disposal after his side’s exploits in the transfer market, and whilst it’s a welcome problem to have, he will have some very tough decisions to make.
So far this season, Smith has flitted between a 4-2-3-1 and a 4-3-3, and he’s seen both formations reap rich rewards in the Premier League and in the Carabao Cup.
The club’s talisman, Jack Grealish, has predominantly been used on the left-flank in both of those set-ups, and whilst he has impressed considerably – he’s already picked up four goals and three assists in just four games – Villa may be able to get the best out of the rest of their new boys by playing him more centrally.
Using him in the number ten role would then allow Smith to field both Trezeguet and Bertrand Traore in the same line-up instead of having the issue of the two wingers fighting for the same spot.
And with John McGinn and Douglas Luiz behind that attacking midfield trio, that would of course see Ross Barkley be the odd man out. Whilst he did get himself onto the score-sheet at Villa Park against Liverpool, the £110k-a-week loanee could be a superb option off the bench or in games where Villa expect to dominate the ball.
The annihilation of Jurgen Klopp’s side last week showed just how devastating Villa can be on the break, and giving Grealish the opportunity to play in the middle where he’ll see even more of the ball than he already does, could bring the rest of the side’s talented attackers into play.