The Athletic’s Gregg Evans has delivered a major update on Aston Villa’s transfer plans for the summer.
Dean Smith’s side have enjoyed a superb campaign thus far in the Premier League and are still very much in the hunt for a shock European place for next season.
One of the shining lights of Villa’s year has been Ollie Watkins’ performances since his arrival from Brentford last summer, with the 25-year-old having scored 12 goals in all competitions.
But with Wesley only recently working his way back to fitness after more than a year out with a knee injury, and Keinan Davis clearly not in favour, Villa’s striking options are on thing ground.
And now, Evans has delivered a slightly concerning update, suggesting that Wesley will first be given an opportunity to impress before the club “will consider recruiting again in that area come the summer”.
He added: “Talks over the way forward will take place in the weeks and months ahead. Villa have potential targets drawn up already but will assess the situation closer to the end of the season.
“Much will depend on where they finish in the table (they are currently eighth on 36 points with two games in hand on, for example, fifth-placed Chelsea on 43) and whether it’s felt they will need extra resources immediately next season.”
After taking a major gamble in choosing to not sign a striker back in the January transfer window, Villa are in danger of being overly cautious once again.
An injury to Watkins anytime soon would leave the Villa boss with a half-fit Wesley, and Davis, whose record at the club is nothing to write home about – he’s managed a measly five goals in 75 games.
While giving Wesley the chance to get back to full fitness is admirable, that doesn’t detract from the fact Villa could really do with another front-line centre-forward to compete with both the Brazilian and Watkins.
And, the notion that Villa will assess the situation depending on where they finish in the table, is a slap in the face for the manager. Smith has worked wonders in getting this side who narrowly avoided relegation last season into a team challenging for a European spot.
The least he deserves is to be backed 100% in the transfer market, and be given the funds to make the signings and reinforcements that he wants, irrespective of whether they achieve European football or not. The Villa boss won’t be happy at all that the club’s transfer plans are still up in the air.