This article is part of Football FanCast’s The Chalkboard series, which provides a tactical insight into teams, players, managers, potential signings and more…
Aston Villa took their spending close to £100m with the signing of Bjorn Engels this week.
Dean Smith and co have been incredibly busy in the market, welcoming eight new faces through the doors of Villa Park following promotion to the Premier League.
Their new arrivals are predominantly made up of younger individuals after the club released eight elder statesmen earlier this year too.
However, with four new centre-backs coming in, there is already fierce competition for a place in the team.
As Villa entered the summer they were staring at having just one central defender in James Chester still at the club.
It’s therefore no surprise to see that they’ve invested heavily in that region, splashing £20m on Tyrone Mings whilst also signing Engels, Ezri Konsa and Kortney Hause.
However, it is the latter who may be fearing for his place the most and could, unfortunately, be on for a repeat experience from his time at Wolves.
Hause impressed in the Championship last season, winning a colossal 4.7 aerial duels per 90 minutes but when Axel Tuanzebe returned from injury, he didn’t always get into the side.
As a result, there is a reason to believe he could be cast aside once more after Konsa and Engels both walked through the doors too.
It’s something that could come as a bitter blow to the 24-year-old who has already missed out on playing in the Premier League once.
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After being promoted with Wolves over a year ago, he was unable to get his chance in the top-flight, failing to play a single minute of their league campaign before being shipped out to Villa on loan.
And if Smith prefers Konsa and Engels alongside Mings who seems the most likely to start, he’d be in for an almost identical experience with the Villans.
After all, Engels is a proven player in Europe, featuring 15 times across the Champions League and Europa League as well as playing in Ligue 1 last season, so he might well be the chosen partner alongside the former Bournemouth man.
Hause was subjected to just two appearances in the League Cup for Wolves in 2018/19 and it wouldn’t be a great surprise if his chances were again limited in the opening months of the new term.
Of course, pre-season could determine who starts, but there are grounds to suggest he could find it a struggle.