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Aston Villa wasted a summer before Premier League struggles

Aston Villa wasted a summer.

Fresh from their promotion from the Premier League, they lavished £133.7m on 12 new additions. All fees are taken from Transfermarkt.

One can argue that only two of them have managed to actually make a proper impact, with the club currently within the relegation zone. Away from those two, then, that’s £105.75m down the drain.

Here, Football FanCast takes a look at the signings, and the impact they have made at Villa Park.

Wesley – £22.5m

This one is a bit unfortunate.

The striker came in with a big fee and big expectations attached but, after scoring six goals in 22 outings in all competitions, he suffered a cruciate ligament rupture and has been injured since January.

Red Herring or Real Hero: Only hardcore Villa fans will get all of them right….

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Did this footballer play for Aston Villa?

Still, given his absence, it is difficult to class him a success.

Tyrone Mings – £20.07m

Solid as a rock at the back, Mings has been a success for Smith’s men.

He appears a fine defender and has made 23 Premier League appearances this term.

Indeed, the former Bournemouth defender averages 5.8 clearances per game, per WhoScored, as well as 1.7 blocks, proving he is ready to put his body on the line for the cause.

Douglas Luiz – £15.12m

Football FanCast has written previously about how Luiz should be dropped, given his poor showings this season.

That advice will have to be heeded if they are to stay up.

Defensively, he offers next to nothing, as he is dribbled past 1.4 times per game – compared to his 1.1 tackles – and also concedes 1.2 fouls, per WhoScored.

He hasn’t been good enough.

Matt Targett – £13.95m

Targett has done okay, but he hasn’t really offered much dynamism up and down Villa’s left flank.

Capable of playing on the wing or at full-back, he has one Premier League goal and two assists to his name but has been on the winning side just five times in his 20 outings.

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A lot of money was spent and, as yet, he hasn’t paid it back.

Ezri Konsa – £11.97m

Aged 22, the centre-back endured a stop-start beginning to the season.

He did not make the team until October and has been benched repeatedly by manager Smith.

Per WhoScored, he makes just one tackle per match, perhaps suggesting that he is yet to get up to speed with life in the Premier League.

Marvelous Nakamba – £10.8m

Nakamba has been nothing short of abysmal for Villa.

A defensive liability, he is dribbled past 1.9 times per game, per WhoScored, offers next to nothing going forward, and wins just one aerial duel per game.

He is an unmitigated flop.

Trezeguet – £9m

Aston Villa's Trezeguet in action with Liverpool's Tony Gallacher

A lot of money was lavished on the Egypt international but he just hasn’t delivered.

Three goals and two assists is a pretty poor return and he hasn’t been on the scoresheet in the league since December.

Would you stick with Smith if Villa got relegated?

Yes

Yes

No

No

For a proven international with 44 caps, Villa ought to expect better.

Anwar El Ghazi – £8.1m

El Ghazi has done his best.

Still only 24, he has scored four goals and registered four assists from the flanks – he can play on either – but his form has dipped significantly in recent weeks; he was last involved in a goal in January, in the 6-1 defeat to Manchester City.

Prior to that, his last goal came in November; he has patches of brilliance, but they have been all too fleeting.

Tom Heaton – £7.92m

Goalkeeper Heaton has a tough job.

Playing in a team that are often under pressure can’t be easy but he did all he could before a knee injury ruled him out in January.

Since his absence, Villa haven’t kept a clean sheet, and have conceded 19 goals in just seven games. He is missed, and at just under £8m, he remains an astute buy.

Bjorn Engels – £7.2m

Engels still doesn’t seem to be trusted.

He has made 17 league appearances this term but went five games between December and January out of the squad.

He has also been benched four times, and when he last played 90 minutes, against Leicester City, Villa shipped four goals.

He’s not been the best buy.

Jota – £4.05m

One has to wonder what the point of this signing was.

Jota arrived from Birmingham City, seemingly set for a chance in the Premier League.

However, he has played just eight times, has never once completed the 90 minutes, and hasn’t been in the match day squad since the 3-0 loss to Watford in December.

Kortney Hause – £3.06m

Perhaps an investment in potential, given that Hause is only 24, he hasn’t had a lot of football.

Drafted in for his first appearance this season in December, he played 11 games on the bounce and was then shunted out of the squad again.

It’s a bizarre situation, and one that needs some clarity when the football eventually returns.

Right now, though, it’s fair to call him a flop.

Conclusion

This doesn’t reflect well on Villa at all.

Mings and Heaton have been fine additions but the other 10 – totalling a combined cost of £105.7m – have ranged from abysmal to just plain bizarre.

To sign 12 players and have two be successful is a hit rate of exactly 16.67%.

It is no wonder they are staring relegation in the face.

Had they spent their money better, perhaps they wouldn’t be in this mess. Now that they are, Smith needs to bring the best out of his 10 flops if they are to have any hope of retaining their Premier League status.

Meanwhile, Villa could secure Jack Grealish’s replacement with this swoop!

Article title: Aston Villa wasted a summer before Premier League struggles

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