Despite suffering a 6-1 defeat at the hands of Southampton, the future still looks bright for Aston Villa. They've secured their Premier League status for another year and have a cup final on the horizon. Combined with their form under Tim Sherwood, it's easy to write last Saturday's debacle off as an anomaly. And while Villa is no doubt a better side than the one that showed up against Southampton, a dose of reality may not have been such a terrible thing, allowing the club to recognize that there are certainly areas that need strengthening over the summer.
One of the key spots in Tim Sherwood's side which needs to be addressed is left-back. Sherwood clearly has no trust in Aly Cissokho, and it seems more and more likely that he will move on during the summer. Kieran Richardson has been a bit better of late, but he is still not the ideal candidate for the position. Joe Bennett has just returned from a loan spell, but he will have to prove himself to Sherwood over the summer in order to claim his spot in the squad. And as we saw on Saturday, Alan Hutton is much more comfortable on the right-side of defense.
With all that being said, it's no surprise that Villa have started to search outside of the club for an answer. Villa have already expressed interest in Hull City's Andrew Robertson, and now have been linked with Swansea City's left-back Neil Taylor. The 26-year-old Welshman could be in high demand this summer, with Swansea keen to keep Taylor away from the likes of Crystal Palace, Newcastle, and West Brom, as well as Villa. In 34 appearances this season, Taylor has two assists for the Swans.
Taylor seems like he would fit well in a Tim Sherwood side, as he is willing and able to push forward and deliver crosses into the box. He is no slouch defensively either, showing solid pace in recovery and an ability to hold his own physically, despite his smaller stature. He only has one year remaining on his contract, and if Swansea decide to cash in over the summer, Villa could stand to gain a very solid player without overpaying.