With Steven Gerrard set to embark on his first transfer window as Villa’s new boss, all eyes will be on how the former Liverpool captain goes about strengthening his squad as they look to enjoy a more successful second half of the season in the Premier League.
According to Preece, there is one position in particular that the Midlands club are particularly keen on reinforcing.
He said: “A box office signing is exactly what Villa want but they want to make it the right one. Background checks happening all of the time. You make a fantastic point re to a Phillips-esque signing and that’s what Villa are after – a dogged ball winner who possesses that technical ability Gerrard likes and wants.
“The midfield department will be added to this month, I feel, with scope on really freshening it up in the summer ahead of what’s a huge 2022/23 season, one I expect NSWE to go at it full hammer.”
If there’s one area of the pitch that you would say is lacking in this current Villa squad, it’s perhaps the holding midfield role.
While Marvelous Nakamba has certainly risen to the occasion in recent weeks under Gerrard’s short tenure as manager, the Zimbabwe international’s untimely injury means that Villa have been left even more short in the midfield engine room than they already were.
Without Nakamba, Villa don’t have another natural ball-winner, so Preece’s claim that the club are targeting exactly that kind of player in the January transfer window is sure to excite fans.
The Villans already boast a number of quality attacking players in the likes of Ollie Watkins, Emi Buendia and Leon Bailey among others, and adding a midfielder who can patrol in front of the back four and break up opposition attacks could hold the key to unlocking that exciting potential further forward.