The transfer window opens in just over a month, but already, the rumours are starting to circulate.
Today, Aston Villa have been linked with a January move for Middlesbrough striker Jordan Rhodes, according to several reports.
This isn't the first time that Villa have been linked with the Scottish striker, as Boro allegedly blocked a deadline day move last summer.
On the surface, making a move for another striker makes zero sense, especially considering that Rhodes will cost Villa around £10m. That isn't to say that Rhodes isn't worth that fee, because he probably is; there is just no point in Villa spending that money in that way, especially when there's many more pressing issues within the squad.
The right back position for starters, is where the bulk of that £10m could and should go. Under Steve Bruce, things don't look quite so bad defensively, but with Richie De Laet out for the season, a position in which Alan Hutton is the best option is simply not good enough.
In addition, another central midfielder would not go amiss. With two central midfielders, Villa looked exposed, but with three, Villa lack depth. Gardner, Jedinak and Westwood together are not really dynamic enough, and Bacuna is not best suited to this role. This just leaves Aaron Tshibola, who is probably not quite ready for a full time role. Charlie Adam would be a good stopgap in this position, solidifying the midfield, and giving it some creativity. Certainly he would be more of use than another striker.
There is one reason why signing a new striker might not be a bad idea, and that would be the African Cup of Nations. Running from January 14th to February 5th, Jordan Ayew and Jonathan Kodjia will be away from Villa, representing Ghana and the Ivory Coast respectively. Thankfully, Benin failed to qualify, and thus Rudy Gestede will not feature at the tournament. Nonetheless, losing two key strikers for almost a whole month is not ideal.
But Villa are already in a position in which they can replace the missing duo. Ross McCormack and Rudy Gestede are proven starters, and Gabby Agbonlahor, Rushian Hepburn-Murphy and even Libor Kozak are adequate backups at this level. Potentially, there is worth in bringing a striker in on loan, but there is no way that Aston Villa should be spending £10m on a stopgap, even if he is a good player.