The Birmingham Mail‘s Ashley Preece has dropped an update on Aston Villa’s search for a new centre-back in this summer’s transfer window.
With Bjorn Engels having left Villa Park a few weeks ago, Dean Smith’s squad has been left short of options in the middle of defence.
In response to a question from a Villa supporter for the Birmingham Mail about whether they will target a young but cheap option, or favour some more experienced cover, Preece delivered an update on where things stand.
He said: “I think it’ll be the former, Sam. Villa are open to both profiles, though. No names have come to light. Axel Tuanzebe talk keeps popping up; he’ll want first-team football, though. It’s a long season, Villa need a CB in there for cover and, like Hause did last term, to step in when fixtures mount up.”
While Tyrone Mings and Ezri Konsa firmly established themselves as Smith’s first-choice centre-back pairing last season in the Premier League, the lack of strength in depth in that position is very worrying as a Villa fan.
The duo played 36 out of the 38 top-flight games and were two players who the Villa boss knew he could count upon to start week-in and week-out, whether through staying clear of injury or keeping their discipline in check – Mings was the only one out of the two to be suspended at any stage.
Were either of them to sustain an injury for a number of weeks, the Midlands club would be facing a mini-crisis such is the real lack of quality options behind those two, especially now that another centre-back in Engels has departed.
It’s exactly why Preece’s claim that Villa are in the market for a new centre-back, and would be open to signing either a more experienced option or a younger player, will surely delight Smith.