#3: Keinan Finally Off The Mark - More Game-time Needed?
There surely isn’t a single Villa fan who wasn’t absolutely over the moon and delighted for Keinan Davis. After nearly two seasons as a Premier League footballer, ‘The Biggleswade Berbatov’ finally scored his first goal in the top flight and there isn’t a player in that squad who deserves it more.
Given just under 10 minutes to make an impact, Davis showed what he can offer, but also what his limitations are. Shortly after coming on, he received a pass on the edge of the area where he brilliantly held off the defender before turning him with ease. However, the final effort on goal was a weak, tame effort in which Sam Johnstone gathered easily.
A few moments later, following a goal mouth scramble, the ball fell to Davis who shifted it onto his left foot before striking the outside of the post. At this point, every Villa fan felt it was never going to happen for the big man.
Two minutes into stoppage time, his big moment arrived. Ollie Watkins sent a header back across the face of goal following a deep John McGinn cross. Baggies defender, Kyle Bartley, hesitated for too long, allowing Davis to pounce and poke home the equalizer.
Davis has a lot of qualities to offer and hopefully this confidence boost will help him enormously in the final few games of the season.
#2: Wesley Returns - What’s Next For The Brazilian?
After nearly 16 months on the treatment table, Brazilian international, Wesley, finally made his comeback to first team action. It was only four minutes, but it will have meant the world to him.
The injury he suffered was horrific, with Dean Smith describing it as the most significant he’s ever seen. It’s been a tough road to recovery and was made even harder by the global pandemic, meaning Wesley has had to spend a lot of his rehabilitation in isolation, which can be mentally draining at the best of times, let alone when trying to recover from such a bad injury.
With there now being little to play for this season, the remaining six games is a nice, pressure free environment to bring Wesley back into the fold by giving him minutes here and there. It also allows Villa the option of trying two up top or shifting Watkins out wide of a front three with Wesley through the middle.
Last season Wesley was very much a marmite character amongst the supporters and he may not be the man in the long-term if Villa want to be challenging the top six, but every fan will have been pleased to see him back in action.
#1: Fine Tuning Or Major Surgery?
The results and performances of the last few weeks haven’t been up to standard and the injury to Jack Grealish has derailed Villla’s season. In a strange way, it may turn out to be a blessing in disguise in the long run.
Had Grealish been fit all season, there is no doubt in my mind that Villa would have more points on the board and would still be very much in the hunt for a European spot next season and that could have fooled people that the squad was better than it actually is.
His absence may just force the owners’ hand in the summer transfer window to splashing out that little bit more money to get better quality players into the squad. If we want to progress again next season, we can’t be so overly reliant on just one player – albeit an exceptionally talented one.
The main areas of improvement would be in the wide attacking areas and in midfield; Ross Barkley will need replacing and it’s still too early to tell how Morgan Sanson will turn out. Villa have a good starting XI capable of competing with and beating any team in the league.
This is the summer where the squad needs to be bulked out so that the difference in quality between the players on the pitch to those on the bench is negligible. Considering the investment the owners have already showed and their ambition, this could be another exciting summer for the club.