The very end of the season has left Aston Villa supporters feeling quite a bit uneasy. It's funny because just a few weeks ago, we were all feeling really good about this team. But the end of the season happened, and not it seems everything is falling apart. But the summer is here now. We have a chance to improve things, we have a chance to change. I decided to ask the 7500 staff what areas they thought should be looked at over the summer?
Q: Now that transfer season is here, what is the one area of the team that should be addressed first this summer?
Left back! Or perhaps striker! Or maybe a good solid central midfielder. Perhaps a keeper. Oh god oh god.
My first instinct is left back, but with the likely departure of Christian Benteke and the possible send-offs of Libor Kozak and Andi Weimann, it seems like we have to get a new striker. Going into the season with Callum Robinson and Gabby Agbonlahor as the primary strikers is horrifying. Then again, if they were our options, Villa would be forced to build a team that wasn't so reliant on strikers. Haha. Ha.
//rocks back and forth
Everyone's leaving and no one seems to be coming in. Needless to say it's a little early to be terrified of the Villa's chances next season but here we are. Tim or not, if Benteke goes there is no replacement for him that exists. It's fairly terrifying. They need everything except central midfielders.
The one area of the club that needs addressed this summer is ownership. Another year with an owner on a budget and who wants to sell just can't happen. A takeover surely must go through this summer.
As for the actual team on the pitch, I still want to see Villa bring an attacking midfielder or two, especially now that Tom Cleverley is gone. This club hasn't had midfielders consistently scoring and assisting since James Milner, Ashley Young and Stewart Downing, which is a huge reason why Villa have been so, so poor at home in recent seasons. Whether it's a No. 10 type of player or an out-and-out winger, Villa need players that can create more scoring opportunities. Carles Gil and Scott Sinclair have the potential to fill this role, but neither finished the season strong. If I could see Villa address one position, it'd still be attacking midfield. The Burnley match and FA Cup Final showed how poor Villa still are when teams back off and make Villa try to break them down. Full backs, particularly the left side, are also another area of the team that desperately needs to be sorted out.
Depends how soon Christian Benteke leaves. If he goes soon, our first priority should be replacing him. If the saga drags on, a new left back, followed by a new centre half would be nice. An attacking midfielder is also needed, but isn't the top priority.
I'd opt for left back, forward, and given the Cleverly departure a midfielder.
I can't think of a single place on the pitch where we don't need solidifying. We need depth everywhere. I keep telling myself not to panic, because Sherwood really needs the ownership to be stable in order to put his transfer plans fully into motion. But I have to agree with Andrew, it seems like a mass exodus. A lot of the players who have been rumored to leave are depth players, i.e. Matt Lowton, Wiemann, etc, who weren't amazing, but serviceable enough at some points. We need players coming in, regardless of position. There's obviously still plenty of time, but with the terrible end to the season, lingering FA Cup disappointment, and players jumping ship, this club is desperate for some good news and fresh faces.
The quota of actually good players. There's not a single position on the pitch where Villa couldn't use an upgrade. Recruiting a couple younger players who actually cost money that are good should be the priority, irrespective of where they play. If it's a striker like Charlie Austin? Cool. If it's a winger like Andros Townsend? That'd work fine as well. Just getting guys in who don't require tons of work from day one would be nice, especially with a lot of quality likely leaving in Christian Benteke.
A midfielder that can create as well as score goals. Even if we keep Christian Benteke, another striker is needed. Jack Grealish showed flashes this year, but we can't put all of our eggs in that basket just yet. With Tom Cleverley gone, and Carles Gil set to leave, the midfield could use help.
I mean, everywhere really, but if I had to pick one, we really need some sort of help along the back line. There's the whole left back issue and then there's the fact that we could lose one out of our already extremely injury-prone center back group. The defense certainly wasn't a problem at the beginning of the reason, but it became one towards the end, and because of that we could use some reinforcements and fast.
Those are our answers and now it's your turn. What area(s) of the squad would you like to see improved over the summer?