With four wins and three defeats in his first seven Premier League games as Aston Villa manager, the upcoming January transfer window will provide Steven Gerrard with the opportunity to make his mark on the squad, whether that’s with some new faces being brought in or some of the current squad making their way out.
Even though the Midlands club spent a significant sum of money to bring in the likes of Emi Buendia, Leon Bailey and Danny Ings during last summer’s transfer window, it seems unlikely that no business will take place in January.
What could Villa’s starting XI look like by the end of January 2022? Here’s our prediction…
In goal, despite reportedly being of interest to Manchester United, we don’t think Villa would entertain the prospect of allowing Emiliano Martinez to leave in January, especially as he has played in all but one of their league games so far this season.
In defence, the only change we could see potentially happening would be the inclusion of current Liverpool centre-back Joe Gomez, who has been linked with a move to Villa Park next month, which we feel could be tempting for the 24-year-old if he can get regular game-time under Gerrard’s guidance.
If Villa manage to secure the signing of the Reds defender, we think he will slot into Villa’s backline alongside the likes of Matt Targett, Tyrone Mings and Matty Cash.
In midfield, with Marvelous Nakamba out for a significant period of time through injury, we can see Villa heading back to Southampton, from whom they signed Danny Ings from in the summer, and securing the signature of Oriol Romeu, who has reportedly been of interest to Villa in recent months.
Alongside current Villa midfielders Douglas Luiz and John McGinn, we think Gerrard will raid his old club Rangers and sign 25-year-old Joe Aribo, who the current Villa boss has called “fantastic” in the past, as an extra option in his squad behind the current strike duo of Ings and Ollie Watkins.
Whether or not Villa add the aforementioned players to their squad next month, Gerrard may still have confidence in his current crop of players to end the season on a high and potentially in the top half of the Premier League.