Although it seems unlikely, it's still possible that Aston Villa will be relegated at the end of the season. So far in my relegation poaching series this spring, I've looked at three teams: Leicester, Burnley, and QPR. These teams all came up last year, and there's a chance they'll all be in the Championship next season.
Now, it's time to take a look at Tim Sherwood's team. Maybe I'm a bit biased, but I think that Aston Villa have the best players of any team involved in the relegation scrap. Let's start with the obvious one.
Christian Benteke: Capable of putting the ball in the net with his head or feet, the Belgian striker has scored 46 goals in 96 appearances in a Claret and Blue shirt since signing from Genk for £7 million in 2012. That season, his 19 league goals almost singlehandedly kept the club up, and the ten he's bagged this year have been just as influential. Benteke will be expensive, but cheaper than if Villa were in the top flight.
Jack Grealish: Relatively unknown coming into the season, the 19-year-old
English Irish Villa youngster has put in some great performances lately, and is becoming a household name. Had Grealish not gotten a chance under Sherwood, maybe he would have stuck around if the club is relegated, but now that people have seen his talent, it's apparent he can play at a high level. He's comfortable playing on the left wing, but has been playing at a very high level as a number ten.
Carles Gil: The last player purchased by Paul Lambert, Carles Gil hasn't really had a chance in the new regime. The Spaniard cost around £4 million, and at the age of 22, still has a lot of his career in front of him. Gil could move in the summer even if the Villans stay up. He's been used both on the right wing, and in attacking midfield.
Ciaran Clark: He's shown flashes of brilliance at times over the past few years, but Ciaran Clark put it all together this season before being lost to injury a couple of weeks ago. At 25, he's nearing the age where central defenders usually hit their prime, but still has a bit of learning to do. He'd be a target for newly promoted clubs as well as some midtable sides.
Fabian Delph: A transfer target for Liverpool among other teams this past January, Fabian Delph shocked nearly everyone by extending his contract at Villa. Now that he's an England international, he's well-known enough to attract plenty of suitors. Tim Sherwood even went as far as calling him the best midfielder in England. That's a bit of a stretch, but he's a great box-to-box player, and has shown why he deserves the armband.
Who would you like your team to buy from Villa if they drop? Are there any Villans you think I should have listed? Let us know in the comments!