It took about 85 minutes at Hillsborough on August 7th last year for confirmation that returning to the Premier League at the first attempt was more likely to not happen that the other way around, and what followed in the months ahead was a pretty underwhelming first part of the season, a really awful Christmas and January, a promising run from mid-Feb to mid-April followed by a whimpering finish to the season which, for the fans, became more about trying to relegate Birmingham.
The team seemed to be following suit on the pitch too with a poor loss to now relegated Blackburn following another Gabby Agbonlahor derby winner against the enemy. It’s not all doom and gloom though, there are some decent players in the dressing room and the few that aren’t so good will hopefully be shown the door. The manager needs to improve in my opinion but he deserves more time and another crack at a summer transfer window. We can currently be backed at 3/1 to win next year’s Championship with several bookies (register following these instructions) so here’s a trio of players that we could be seeing coming through the door to help us achieve that aim.
Been on loan at Villa Park from Manchester United since January and has racked up 20 appearances in the first team (Forcing Pierluigi Gollini out on loan to Atalanta) and been a big positive in the second half of Villa’s season. Not going to be getting many chances at Man Utd in the near future and you’d like to think he’d be very happy to join the Villans.
Been a revelation at relegated Sunderland this season and is clearly still a potent weapon even at his advanced age. Bigger teams than Villa may be looking to snap him up but it’s worth having your hat in the ring for a player who would easily score 20 goals in the Championship next year, bring a lot to the changing room, and would cost relatively little.
Seems destined to be one of those players who is very good in the Championship but doesn’t get a look in at Premier League level. Featured in just 11 games this season for Middlesbrough and the longest he spent on the pitch was 22 minutes! His goal the other day was his first for a very long time and shouldn’t stop him from strongly considering dropping down a division to progress his career. As far as Villa are concerned, he shouldn’t cost the earth and would surely do well again in a league where he has prospered before.