Aston Villa should sign James Collins on short-term deal

Aston Villa boss Dean Smith has revealed that he will make a decision on the future of trialist James Collins ‘in the next couple of days’.

What’s the story?

Collins left West Ham United at the end of last season following the expiration of his contract, and has been linked with a number of Championship clubs.

The centre-back is currently on trial at Villa though, and appeared in a behind-closed-doors friendly with Yeovil Town last week.

Smith has confirmed that he is close to deciding whether Collins will be offered a contract, with an announcement expected ‘in the next couple of days’.

BirminghamLive quotes Smith as saying:

“He is still here training with us. He played a game last week, against Yeovil.

He is getting minutes and getting closer to me making a decision about him. I’ll probably do it in the next couple of days and decide where we’re going with him.”

Collins played over 100 times for Villa between 2009 and 2012 before returning to West Ham, and his experience would come in handy in the second half of the season.

Should Villa offer Collins a deal?

It is a bit of a no-brainer. At the age of 35, Collins is not a long-term option by any means, but there is no doubting that he is good enough to contribute in the Championship between now and the end of the season.

Villa are light when it comes to options in central defence, and whilst Axel Tuanzebe has been praised for his form this season, some supporters have criticised James Chester.

Villa incredibly conceded five against Nottingham Forest in the Championship on Wednesday night, but still managed a draw to make it an unbeaten November.

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When considering free agents of sufficient quality and indeed ones in Villa’s reach, a deal for 6ft 2in colossus Collins makes complete sense.

Indeed, both Tuanzebe and Chester would benefit from the experience of the Welshman for the rest of the 2018-19 campaign.