Aston Villa are in a truly perilous position at the bottom of the Premier League, though there has been an ever so slight improvement under Remi Garde. While he’s not lifted them off the foot of the table, the club have at least recorded a win under the Frenchman.
There had previously been encouraging draws against Manchester City and Newcastle, so perhaps the otherwise utterly dismal Wycombe Wanderers result in the FA Cup has served as the kick up the backside the players needed.
Their recruitment drive over the summer has largely backfired and this month’s transfer window is, perhaps, Garde’s best chance of prepping the squad for at least making a fight out of it. A club the stature of Aston Villa should not capitulate in the manner they have been for large parts of this season.
Can the former Lyon boss pull off the greatest escape in Premier League history? That remains to be seen, though signing any of this lot might help.
Here are FOUR player Aston Villa can sign to fight relegation.
Chelsea forward Loic Remy could not breach Diego Costa’s starting berth when the fiery Spaniard wasn’t scoring, so he’s got little chance now he’s back in the goals. Garde has previously spoken of his admiration for the Frenchman, who would add much needed goals to his side.
Rudy Gestede is a decent option for long balls, but that’s not the way Villa have been playing since Tim Sherwood was axed, rendering the £7m summer arrival all but useless. Jordan Ayew has shown glimpses of what he can do, but can’t be relied upon to frequently lead the line.
Remy is a mobile mover, able to sniff out chances in and around the penalty area where others might miss them. His clever movement at times looks lazy, but the ex-QPR star tends to conserve energy rather than running about like a headless chicken.
With Jack Grealish or Carles Gil providing the through balls, surely goals would come. Why would he even entertain the idea of going to Villa Park? Well, perhaps a loan deal until the end of the season could help him stake a claim in French squad for Euro 2016.
The 107 cap England international is free to leave Roma after a nightmare spell in the Italian capital. With Jordan Amavi ruled out for more or less the rest of the season, Garde could use a left-back.
Despite his age, the former Arsenal and Chelsea star would be an excellent signing. He’s probably the best left-back to ever play in the Premier League, and while old Father Time is bound to have somewhat of an impact, he could call on his vast experience should he come back.
Perhaps he wouldn’t surge up the left flank as often as he would a decade ago, but as a defender he remains nigh on impossible to breach. A wise head, the 35-year old is the perfect short-term option available.
Switzerland skipper Gokhan Inler can’t breach the Leicester midfield. That’s the kind of world we live in now. The 31-year old has struggled for game time since moving to the Foxes this summer and is (via Blick) a target for Villa on loan this winter.
Garde’s midfield can knock the ball around quite nicely, but have largely looked like mere bystanders for large parts of the season. When the opposition breaks, the likes of Carlos Sanchez may as well not even be there.
Inler would sort problems like that out. The former Napoli ace is a commanding defensive presence, adept at breaking up play in the middle of the park. His arrival would at least relieve some of the pressure on the Villa backline, who are prone to their fair share of lapses in concentration.
Like the previously mentioned Remy, the Swiss star may be eager to secure as much first-team football between now and the summer as he bids to prepare for Euro 2016.
Jeremy Toulalan is currently the captain of Monaco, so a move to Villa may not instantly strike you as the most likely option for him. However, manager Remi Garde is reportedly keen on landing the Frenchman in order to stamp his mark at Villa Park.
At 32, he may be a short-term option, but he possesses elements of the class currently severely lacking in the Midlands. The former France international is an excellent holding midfielder, able to ease some of the burden on the defence that could potentially be lining up behind him.
Comfortable in possession, the former Malaga man might also help the side retain the ball for large parts of the game, preventing the opposition from running his side ragged. Interestingly, he could even be deployed as a ball playing centre-half should Garde see fit to replace his current options.