The Birmingham Mail’s Ashley Preece has dropped a new Aston Villa transfer update, and it’s one that will delight fans.
Despite Jack Grealish’s recent departure to Premier League champions Manchester City, Dean Smith’s side have enjoyed an impressive transfer window thus far, bringing in a number of high-profile signings.
One area that they have yet to significantly strengthen however, is in the engine room, with Villa having seen a bid for Southampton captain James Ward-Prowse turned down.
And while Preece admitted that a move for the Saints play-maker is unlikely to come to fruition, he did deliver an exciting update on Villa’s pursuit for a new midfielder.
He said: “Villa are, though, expected to add one more to their central midfield of John McGinn, Morgan Sanson, Jacob Ramsey, Marvelous Nakamba, Douglas Luiz and Carney Chukwuemeka, while it’s fully expected Conor Hourihane will move onto pastures new once Villa land a new arrival.”
As Preece himself says, bringing in a new central midfielder is something Smith desperately needs, and it could have a major impact on the team.
He said: “Given Villa’s new-look 4-4-2 system, having another defensive-minded midfielder in there makes complete sense knowing Dean Smith wants to be bold at the front end of the pitch with Buendia, Bailey, Ings, Ollie Watkins, Bertrand Traore and others.”
Last season saw the club rely on Douglas Luiz and John McGinn as the main duo in the engine room, but neither are quite the tough-tackling anchormen that can hold down the fort and allow Villa’s talented crop of forwards to really shine – the duo both averaged far less than two tackles and 1.5 interceptions per game in the Premier League last season.
Bringing in a midfield enforcer, much like Cheick Doucoure – someone who appears to be far better than Villa’s most natural holding option in Marvelous Nakamba – could give the Midlands side some much-needed protection in front of the back-four and allow the attack to flourish a bit more.
It’s exactly why Preece’s latest claim that the club are “expected” to bring one more into the midfield area is one that will have fans buzzing.