The Birmingham Mail’s Ashley Preece has dropped a new update on Aston Villa’s transfer plans for this summer.
Dean Smith’s side have already enjoyed a superb start to the transfer window by beating Arsenal to the signing of Norwich play-maker Emi Buendia, and Preece has now revealed what the club plan to do next.
He said: “In terms of further business in the market it’s clear that Villa want another midfielder with 18-year-old Metz man Pape Matar Sarr and Southampton’s James Ward-Prowse both linked with strong Villa interest.
“A new left-back is expected to arrive once Villa secure another midfield option while the last piece of Villa’s 2021/22 jigsaw could be a new striker, although Watkins will be Villa’s main man once more next season.”
Having already clinched the signing of Buendia, the news that Villa are keen on landing a new central midfielder, a left-back and even a potential striker to compete with Watkins should have fans buzzing.
Strength in depth with Villa was the big question last season in the Premier League for Smith, with Jack Grealish’s absence in particular exposing a worrying lack of quality in the creative third – they won just three games that he missed all season in the top-flight.
They’ve already addressed that now with Buendia, and look keen to do the same within terms of covering for Matt Targett and Watkins.
Neil Taylor was the only other real option Smith had at his disposal at left-back but the Welshman was never in contention – he played just 15 minutes of Premier League football – while it didn’t even bear thinking about Watkins going down.
The summer signing from Brentford missed just one game all campaign in the Premier League, and with Wesley out injured for the majority of the season with a knee injury, Smith would have had to rely on Keinan Davis.
So, Preece’s claim that Villa are intent on strengthening those key areas and giving Smith the kind of depth he needs to rest easy, will be music to the ears of the club’s fans. They’ll be buzzing to see that the club means business this summer, despite the impact of the pandemic on the finances of football clubs across the globe.