It has already proven a hugely promising post-season for Aston Villa thus far, with the Midlands outfit having already brought in three marquee arrivals, with that exciting, early business having taken place before the window has even officially opened.
The Steven Gerrard revolution appears to be in full swing as the Englishman seeks to reshape the Villa squad into his image, although the latest indication is that the Liverpool legend is seeking even more investment this summer, with NSWE seemingly set to back their man once again.
One area that appears in need of bolstering is in attack, with pundit Richard Dunne tipping his former side to sign Watford striker Emmanuel Dennis, with the Nigerian having caught the eye in his debut Premier League campaign last term.
In comments recently cited by Birmingham Live, Dunne stated that Gerrard and co should look to take advantage of the Hornets’ top-flight relegation by making a move for their leading marksman: “I’m sure clubs will start looking at [James] Tarkowski from Burnley and Dennis from Watford now they have gone down. They would benefit a few teams in Villa’s area.
“They [Villa] need another attacking player to give them more options up top and another central midfielder. They aren’t crying out for someone in any position but they are looking for that next level of player to push them up the league, they have a decent strong squad.”
The 24-year-old netted ten goals and registered six assists in a standout league campaign on a personal level, albeit with that form unable to prevent his current side avoid a swift return to the second tier.
The former Club Brugge gem – who made the switch to Vicarage Road on a reported £3.6m deal last summer – will likely be on the radar of a number of top-flight clubs, with West Ham United reportedly one of those, with a fee of around £20m having been mooted.
That would likely represent something of a bargain for a player who has compared favourably to those in his position across Europe’s top five leagues, ranking in the top 5% for aerial duels won and in the top 11% for dribbles completed, illustrating to both hold the play up as well as drive his side up the pitch.
That dynamism – as well as his obvious speed – could well evoke memories of a former Villan, with Dennis seemingly carrying similar traits to that of one-club man Gabby Agbonlahor, the forward-turned-pundit having at one stage been a real, lightning prospect for the club.
Having burst onto the scene back in 2006 at the age of 19, the three-cap England international went on to score an impressive 74 goals and record 34 assists in 322 top tier games during his lengthy spell at Villa Park, notably reaching double figures for goals in three successive seasons between 2007 and 2010.
The club’s leading scorer in the Premier League era, Agbonlahor would prove a tough act to try and replicate, although in Dennis the club could well find a fitting heir, with the “superb” striker – as he has been dubbed by one journalist – deserving of another shot in the top division.