According to a report by HITC, Aston Villa are set to ramp up their bid for Queens Park Rangers keeper, Alex Smithies, 26. Smithies would replace the tandem of Mark Bunn and Pierluigi Gollini as Villa’s main goalkeeper.
I will begin with an admission. I’ve wanted Alex Smithies to be a Villan since 2010. Now this contradicts everything I’ve said about Gollini, but I truly believe that Smithies is a talent Villa cannot afford to pass up on. For those who don’t know him, Smithies was tipped to be the next big thing following his emergence at Huddersfield, where he earned the number one jersey in his early twenties. He became a big target and was chased by Aston Villa back in 2011 when Gérard Houllier ran the show. Even United fans were talking about bringing him to Old Trafford.
Smithies was prised away from Huddersfield (He says he was forced) last year on the cheap. Villa fans will remember him from his heroics a few weeks ago, as he saved a penalty and almost helped the struggling hoops secure a draw against a surging Villa team.
It remains to be seen what will become of Gollini, but youth is on his side - Villa could loan him back to Italy and keep him developing - but it’s likely that he will be sold, with many clubs waiting to snap him up.