It’s revving up, and we know all too well how this works. You’ll laugh, you’ll cry, you’ll be on the edge of your seat. You’ll see some transfers coming on like a very, very slow train in the distance. Others will just pop up out of bushes. But while every window is important, this one is every bit as crucial as last summer’s.

So, a little redundant scene-setting from me, and then we can laugh, cry, speculate, celebrate, and fume together. For the sake of argument, I’m going to assume we hold on to Jack, Douglas, and Tyrone, and that we’ll be shopping for a base 4-3-3.

As everyone knows, we need proven players to come in at key positions.

Data-driven Johan Lange will be pulling the strings now instead of Suso, but I suspect Smith will already have a very good idea of who he’d like in. I also expect Lange has a very large binder covering all the leagues since his signings for Copenhagen have come from far and wide. And while that club’s situation has necessitated player identification, development, and sell-on, I don’t think the development and sell-on angle is going to have much to do with Villa’s top-line recruitment in this window. On the academy side, though, Lange will be able to continue his approach, I’m sure.

The remit seems pretty obvious. He and everyone else knows we’re light on the goal-scoring players also known as strikers. Or to put it bluntly, strikers who actually score goals.

We know we’d like at least one wide foil opposite Jack. So, two out of three up front.

In the middle, it’s probably all about someone like Luiz, but with more experience. Has to be good on the ball, great motor, ball-winner, good range of passing. Nakamba’s still around, but seems like he’ll need more time to settle and find his game at this level. If he comes on, so much the better. Luiz found his feet all of a sudden, and Marvelous might not be far behind. Who knows. Seemed like a confidence issue as much as anything, just very nervous, bit like a deer in the headlights.

Anyway, at this level, if those three players—striker, winger and CM—are going to be instant starters and impact players, they’ll eat up a rather large part of your £100 million. I’m guessing we might be downplaying that number a little bit, and it won’t account for outs, I don’t think. We’ll see where we end up with those.

At the back, we’ve heard we’re looking for another CB and maybe some cover, at least, at FB. No idea what sort of money they’re willing to throw at that, and whether Dean’s looking for a starter, especially at CB. Is there more to Engels’ injury than we know? Does he want to be able to play 3-5-2 and isn’t quite convinced by Hause as part of that?

But with Elmo and Taylor aging and one year left on their deals, it makes sense to take Lange’s find-and-develop approach at FB, as well as seeing what the academy can do. I think we’ll be okay with the four we’ve got if they all stay—especially if the middle three become a more formidable bunch. That said, now is not a bad time to try and find a gem or two that could supplant either Targett or Guilbert in year’s time, if not sooner. That’s the find-and-develop part.

Keeper? No idea. Heaton, Steer, and Nyland ought to be enough if Heaton can come back fully fit, anyway. So I’m just going to leave that alone. Seems like we’ve got six or seven and it makes my head hurt.

So there we go: Transfer Central. Origi, anyone?

Over to you.

Comments 692

  1. I’m fine with most of the squad for now. This window has to be more about adding that much needed class and pace up top. If we can then do some squad tinkering fine but that can wait until next summer. We need all our money on quality going forward

  2. JC
    And Origi to you too.
    Everyone knows we need a quality goal scorer, or two with wingers not producing much, & we need a midfielder or 2, & we don’t have all positions with 2 options in defence either. So not much argument necessary.
    A lot is possible if we mix in one or two quality younger [therefore cheaper] players with potential to fill in the gaps.
    Last season it was the opposite approach, with quality players supporting the young with potential.
    As far as the Origis of this world are concerned, we need two incoming better than all the rejects from other clubs that are being constantly regurgitated by all & sundry.
    As you say, this is a very important window, & we are unlikely to be able to change enough for comfort.
    I expect the first one in to be underwhelming, just to wind us up.
    Looking forward to the reality of who we end up with as opposed to the orgasmitron brigade.
    Also I can’t see Tammy leaving chelski until next year.

  3. This upcoming season is possibly the transition season we never really had.
    So now we have something to transit with, compared to last year.
    We were all way off last year with most potential transfers, with Smith as close-mouthed as ever, so in the spirit of that I’m going for Gerry Hitchens.

  4. It will be an interesting summer

    Benrahma would be awesome

    Origi – I have checked his goalscoring record and he does not score many. I appreciate he has been mainly a substitute but you have to wonder with the amount of chances that Liverpool create in any given game

    I just hope it is Smith who decides this summer who we buy.

    We cannot waste another 100M

  5. Who’s decision was it last year to bring in Jota for 4m? What were we thinking? Donating 4m quid to small heath to help them survive?

    Don’t want any journeymen, expensive dodgy keepers or also rans. Keep the spend to 3 or 4 top quality younger guys. Midfield and up top for me.

  6. fwiw, I’m not convinced by Origi, either. Might be a ‘statement’ to buy a player from Liverpool, but seems a bit of a punt if we’re laying out big money. Who knows, though, if he started every week. He does have pace and power.

    Jota was Dean’s, I think, Plug. Knew him, did Gardner in part exchange, as I recall. That one’s always been funny to me…the whole hernia business. I’d have thought that would’ve been known/disclosed. Maybe it was and was assumed not to bother him. Dunno if that accounted for his lack of pace, and not sure why Dean would’ve thought he could cut it physically at this level. Quality on the ball was there, but…Just a funny one.

  7. IanG,

    “This upcoming season is possibly the transition season we never really had.” Spot on.

    Right buys, a system in place, a calm, modern manager who’s got them believing, and most of a spine to work with…Could end up with a pretty decent side, be competitive in every game. That would be sort of mind-blowing.

    As I type that, that’s what I really want to see: A Villa we’d expect to get points off the top six sides.

  8. We all know paper talk, but wonder if the supposed interest in McCarthy has anything to do with the supposed interest in Nakamba.

    I’d think we’d give him more time as a squad player, Marvelous, but you never know. For £5m, could see McCarthy being a younger Whelan.

  9. Why does Ihanacho keep popping Up ? if he’s not good enough for leicester then forget that.

    IanG- I agree it is where we should of been on promotion ideally.

    I think The Shite were skint and so to get rid of gards we took Jota on a punt.

    We have signed another 17 years old and are looking at another kid from Norwich, a forward.

  10. McCarthy was quite decent but no idea now At 29 he’s a another punt but who knows.

    The new DOF’s mode of operation is to crunch the numbers for a player but 1st you need to know what you want him for. It might look like a tool for finding talent but it should apply to known players as well. Smith will have had a long convo with him to nail down what he’s looking for and why and to fit what style going forward. Quality and Prem experienced etc are just to vague.

  11. Mark – we don’t need to make up the numbers to the same extent this season, so quality should be the driving concern, & hopefully is.
    I agree Ihanacho is not what we need, just a more expensive gamble, as are most of the media wish lists.

    JC – a competitive team seems to be our current potential ceiling this season, which is to be expected considering where we started.
    I always expect us to win against the clubs currently at the top, but unfortunately no-one can keep going at 150% instead of at parity, so the wins have been rarer, along with the big dips in form that you can’t avoid with the amount of young players with potential & flip of the coin players from lesser leagues abroad, compared to proven talent that we needed to get that wasn’t on the cards.
    We have fed on scraps for years, this year could break the vicious circle with a bit of luck, growth hasn’t exactly been too prevalent in the past 10 years let alone stability.

  12. Mark
    Being clear on what we need would be the first thing on the agenda you’d think.
    Mind you, we did seem to have a pub team with first team doppelgängers playing a few seasons ago.

  13. IanG- funny isn’t it that the key then was prem players to get us up and when we did eventually that was ditched but ultimately worked. Although we needed time and got it by fortune, someone likes us.

  14. For me we have
    Heaton steer,Elmo Freddy ,target konsa Ming’s hause,Luis Conor Marv mcginn ,jack ,trez,Wes, samatta,
    2 of them coming back from injury so we need
    Keeper left back,centre back,2 midfielders,2 wingers and at least 1 striker another 8 players again at least 4 of them starters so need quality not players like inacho who failed at Leicester

  15. Not sure ihancho has failed at foxes, they just have vardy. Young, quick, knows where the goal is and prem experience with man city and foxes. Get him starting every game he has 15 goals.

    Depends I guess how set in stone we are with prem experience

  16. We need to sign 3 starters,in a striker and and left and right winger.

    We could get away with Heaton, Fred, Konsa, Mings, Targett, Luiz, Jack and mcginn as current players we have who are good enough to start, but front 3, we currently have no individuals good enough.

    Left back I think Is thr next problem with Targett and Taylor. Taylor needs to go, and Targett shouldn’t be a starter.

    Then we need more depth in the squad. We need a better dm than Marvelous to back up Luiz ( Billing) and we need better wingers off the bench than Trez and Ghazi. Plus another good striker on top of the main striker man

    So a lot to do this summer

  17. But we seem a bit slow

    West ham want Brroks

    Palace bidding for eze

    Two players we need, and who improve the squad massively

    Plus we need another centre mid to replace hourihane as the squad man. Eze would be perfect

    So really, we need another big turn over

  18. Don’t need a big turn over this window Imo. Full backs are OK for this season. Elmo and Taylor are gone next summer so then replace. We need to keep all our money towards the problem areas. St, winger, cm option and another winger maybe. It all depends if jacks staying on the left or moving back inside as an 8.

  19. I think we need to see samatta, marvellous, trez in a second season. From the bench! And see if we can Improve them now there settled. Your talking 20 odd million there we can’t just right that off, that’s awful transfer business

  20. H&V, I doubt we’ll be writing any of those 3 off. They are squad members for sure. But there are rumours that Samatta could be going out on loan and if that’s true, we must be sourcing a new striker. Maybe Davis needs to go out on loan too so that he can find his scoring boots.

    The ones who may be vulnerable are El Gassy, Kalinic, Lansbury, Hogan and Jota who have been disappointing over the season.

  21. Frem
    We’re not going to heal all our ills in one transfer window, & by the time the second comes, our immediate needs will all have probably changed.
    So great thought but not realistic.

  22. As for Davis, I’ve always thought that he was behind in his development for his age, mainly due to injuries, but I’ve been rooting for him.
    He’s probably got this season to shape up due to his age, & only goals will do that.
    Right now he hasn’t got anyone pressing him much, apart from Sammatta & Indie who is a different type of player, & there is a gap to the kids.
    Then we’ve got Wesley coming back, & I doubt that he will be ready for the first few games, except from the bench.
    They’ll have probably 3 weeks pre season, starting in nearly 3 weeks as they are on holiday [what’s that?], & I agree with Frem that they need to get a move on.
    Smith will have a good idea of the differing time scales & probably has a plan for all eventualities, but I’m already 108yo so god knows how old I will be next month with the never ending stress.

  23. May peace and calm be with you IanG. Forget the stress and relax with a couple of ales. It worked for me. Then I started reflecting on the season just ended and saw again the Leicester drubbing which brought back memories of the Watford hammering before being overcome by the Man Citeh thrashing. Then followed panic at our impending relegation as we were well and truly screwed. By the time Davis missed that golden opportunity against Arsenal, I was a complete train wreck. Only to be minced even more during the West ‘Aaaaammm game.

    Jack scored and the tightly strung bow sprang open like a greyhound trap. Only to be minced again a minute later. Schitt, it ain’t easy supporting Villa is it?

  24. VAR also needs ditching next season. At best, put a TV pitch side and ask the ref to review the occasional decision. Don’t want the ref spending loads of time running to the TV every 5 minutes.

  25. It’s funny Villa fans on twitter turning thier noses up on the likes of Origi. The guy is a different level to anything we have.

    Same fans who probably think Trez and Ghazi decent. It’s funny people now think Trez is suddenly decent because he scored 3 goals. He’s generally an awful winger.

    What’s the point in keeping poor players like Taylor, Mar, Sammata. Ghazi? We all know they aren’t good enough l, even off the bench. So let’s overhaul the squad with better quality

    Don’t be shy Villa. Don’t be nice to Trez just be scored a few goals. Be ruthless. He’s crap. Sell him and get a better winger in, from league 2

  26. Frem
    He may be better than what we’ve got, but we want better than that for the money he’s likely to cost, & it’s a bit unpleasant to prop up the bin dipper’s bank account.

  27. Frem,

    Think you have to consider cohesion, as well. While you don’t rate Trez and Ghazi, and I get it, they’ve been in the league a season, are familiar with the team and style of play, what’s expected of them (whether they deliver consistently or not). You’d hope they improve in round 2.

    So I’ve no problem with bringing in talent that relegates them to backups. Can we sell? At a loss or profit? Four new wingers and a striker up front? You might get enough from selling both of them to get a better player who’s PL ready.

    What we need also depends on how we’re going to set up. Will Jack sit in the second three, or be up top? Everyone wants him up the pitch, and I don’t think he’s going to be central. Maybe, but I’d see us as more of a 4-1-2-3 going forward, with Luiz holding and JG and SJM as the two.

    But if Jack’s up top? Jack, CF, Winger; MF, Luiz, McGinn. I know JG sort of makes the formation thing a bit irrelevant since he has a free role, but I think the idea is that if you’re spending £20m-£40m/player for someone who can start and produce from the off, you can’t buy that many.

    And the bits of our squad we’d like to replace don’t have huge sell-on value given the teams that would be interested in them and what they can pay.

  28. This is going to be an intense period for transfers.

    We don’t have much time before the season starts again

    We all have our opinions on the players we have, the ones we think we should move on (if we can) and the ones who we think we should buy.

    Dean Smith will know exactly what he needs and wants. He coaches them and sends them out with his tactical plan

    We did witness some improved performances from Douglas – Konsa – Hause and even Taylor performed to a decent standard at the business end of the season

    Selling players who have not performed will be difficult especially with the impact of COVID.

    So let’s sit back and watch the speculation over players

    We moved quickly in the market last season

    We all know we need a striker and wingers just to keep Frem happy

    Happy days. We can look forward to a better season in the Premier League

  29. We need to go and get Eze. Exactly the type of player we need with flair to fight with Jack and mcginn

    Hendrick and Mccarthy being linked on a free. No thanks to both. We need better

  30. Collymoore saying Howe will be our manager if we make a poor start

    Smith will definitely be sacked if we are crap after 10 games but I don’t want Howe. He seems ptetty tactically useless and has wasted a lot of money

    Poch is the man we need to get

  31. Go get Tuanzebe back to, sell Hause or Engles. Go sign a better left back than Targett. Soeome who is quick. Clyne on loan, sell Elmo

    That’s the back 4 sorted

    We need a lot of players in, again

  32. It shouldn’t be a problem for us to go and spend 150/200 million this summer

    We can’t be tight. Go and spend the money. We need to

  33. Frem

    Yeah I was thinking today this is very big for smith. I don’t think the owners will put up with a relegation battle this season.

    Deano knows his team, has had a year in the prem. Really has to pull off the right signings here.

    We will deffo spend a lot of money. But has to work.

    Hopefully a Fulham win tonight and raid Brentford!

    Wonder if there’s any truth in Rochida chap from Wolfsburg. Been linked with him since before Christmas

  34. H and V

    Ye, no way will Smith get let off like he has this season. A slow start and he will be sacked. And rightly so.
    I get fed up with his interview’s and excuses thr last 20 games. He bull shits.

    John. We wjll have a great team in 2 or 3 years

    But what are we doing now for the first team? Not much by thr looks of it

  35. Want Brentford to win tonight. Don’t like Fulham since they beat us

    Not bothered about getting Brentford players anyway. Can do better. We have to

  36. I think the start, and Compass’s view of it, will depend on who we bring in.

    If we carry forward the improved defensive performances we should be better off. I don’t know how much that improvement was down to the fact that the restart seemed to affect teams more in the final third. At the same time, I think a lot of it was down to Luiz, tbh.

    Clearly the owners want to move up the table. Everyone does. And I think we will.

    As I always say, when you look at the table, it’s drawing and not losing that keeps you relatively comfortable. I’m hoping that we’ll be able to do just that if we’re ‘slow’ to start, and then snag at least three or four more wins out of the winning positions we held.

    Doesn’t sound terribly ambitious, but I think we’re looking at least a year away from really challenging in the top half. But getting around or above 50 points would be at least a +15 improvement, which, depending on finishing, a bit of luck, and conceding less, is possible, and would be a decent achievement.

    Then we’re a club moving up with momentum, and just need one more summer to really round things out.

    If it goes better, I’m all for it. But I think Compass will be happy with a mid-table finish in year two. Edens knows it doesn’t happen overnight unless you strike it really big on the personnel front.

  37. I’m not sure how quality Benrama and Watkins would be in the prem. We all know its a completely different class

    I’m not sure Watkins will take us to the next level

    If like Tammy back, but would like to buy some top winger in Europe.

    Really don’t went Hendrick. Bret Holman Mark two

  38. But I’m sure Brentford will win so we won’t get them

    But if they don’t, we will definitely be in for some Brentford players. Watkins as a squad striker and sign a tip class one would be great. We need 2 strikers. Wes, Sammata and Davis aren’t good enough. I’d keep Davis as a 3rd

  39. I’m surprised people think Wesley will be good enough. I was honestly so disappointed in him. His technique looked awful. The way he strikes a ball. Look at his goals. None of them were clean strikes. He always scuffs his shots. We need so much better

  40. Frem- bud If we replace the entire team I think Smith would leave rather than go through that again. Can’t go from zero’s to heroes in 5 mins mate no club works like that. The way we are collecting superkids we won’t be buying anyone soon.

  41. JC- I would say luis a massive part to our improvement and withdrawn FB’s helped too, and Hause and Konsa improved a lot.

    I would be amazed if a big name striker comes here, it would have to be someone that buys into the plans I’d think. If the defending carries over while scoring goes up we will have a decent season, we were scoring fairly well as it is with no strikers. Like you say more drawers and we will be steady.

  42. Mark. We have to many poor players though. We need a lot

    Not sure Benrama has the pace as a winger in the prem. Like Ghaiz and Trez, have no pace. I think he’d be more a umber 10 if we signed him.

    We need pace and he isn’t quick

  43. Wesley is going to be decent frem. I’m not even in any doubt, seen enough of him. 22 first season in eng. he is quick. Strong. And technically very good. Great passing and calm. When he shoots its on target. Like luiz will come great.

  44. Frem we don’t need many. I’d be happy with 4.

    Guilbert konsa mings targett
    Luiz. Mcguinn
    Winger. Grealish. Winger
    Hendrick would make great cover for cm. Wesley and samatta covering main st. Trez and ehazi covering wings. Elmo Taylor rb cover. House and Engels CB. Should be enough for mid table barring more mental injuries

  45. H and V. I think we need way more than 4, but I think we will get 4 or 5.

    We do need another player like Grealish for cover and depth, so one of them would be ideal like Eze

    Going by tonight game, don’t touch Watkins and Benrama

    A lot of Villa fans seem obbssed with Benrama but I’m not bothered. Id rather get Sarr. Pure pace

  46. H and V. Disagree on Wes technique. He always seems to scuff his shots. The goal v Everton and Norwich were right scuffers

    He’s a big guy but got bullied most games he played. Fernandinho bullied him playing at centre back. That’s worrying

  47. I think Wes just has to get used to the PL. Seems like he wasn’t prepared for being played so tight and aggressively. He often thought he was being fouled and was getting frustrated.

    Need to vary up how we get him the ball. He showed good speed, strength and touch. Would be helpful to find him in a little more space and on the ground, rather than lumping it up.

  48. Let’s go get Rico Henry for left back

    Brentford aren’t going up by the looks of it

    Deano going to get Brentford front 3. Better than our current shit I guess

  49. And speed is relative. One thing running sprints, but game speed has as much to do with where they’re starting, where the ball’s played, what choices they make to open up space.

    What I think we need is more quality on the ball and better decision-making as much as speed.

    On his day, Mings looks like he could run with almost anyone.

    Gabby was fast, too, IanG. Or so I hear.

  50. JC
    It would at least get them to make more ambitious runs you would think.
    We need more variety & subtlety & confidence from doing it.

  51. JC
    When he was a winger his end product varied considerably but he created confusion, & look at the players he had to support him.
    He was more a goal scorer as well, & our wingers have a job making up their minds what they are, which is why EG is on the bench, along with the fact that he seems to have hit a wall.
    Are you saying that there is anyone out there of the same speed as Gabby?

  52. Frem,

    I don’t know about a fire sale, but Dean may be able to pick and choose who he wants from Brentford now. I know that their is a love relationship between him and Benrahma. I like him, but for me, Ollie Watkins is the most important. His ability to hold the ball up, get between defenders and put the ball in the net . 26 goals in the Championship is good enough for me.
    Reading between the lines of the after match conversation with Dean Smith and Liam Rosenior , Benrahma, Watkins and Henry will b e on their way shortly……and I guess it will be to Aston Villa!!

  53. Remember years ago when Villa were going to sign Scott Parker, but like a lot of good players we have been linked with, he never arrived.
    A good player, who played for England at all levels, and did eventually captain The team, but never really had the career that should have done. Not done badly for his first year in management. Good luck to him.

  54. PP
    His tactics were the difference between them, although I think Brentford shaded it on chances, plus his bench was a bit deeper.
    I still think the odds are that they will go down.

  55. IanG,

    Yeah, making their minds up, indeed. So many different things pop into my head when I look back and picture them, what they do right and wrong, how we use them, the service.

    So, I’d like to think they’ll make serviceable backups in the short term, if nothing else. I’d like to think improvements elsewhere will just raise the standard overall.

    It’s hard being a one-man team going forward.

  56. Fulham will be in a strong position financially, coming back this time, and I am sure they will buy wisely.
    Parker has managed to change the mindset, and they also have the Golden boot boy, who managed to score 26 goals without playing the full season, and his more than capable in the Premiership.

    Villa are hardly in front of them, and they did knock us out of the FA Cup. We need to ensure that this season we build a very solid team, and we still lack a really experienced head in the team.
    Jack has done well in this department, and Elmo was good back up, but if we are letting him go, we need at least a James Milner, or similar.

  57. Jack Grealish is set to be offered a new five year contract worth £100k a week. Tyrone Mings & John McGinn will also be offered new deals. Villa have inquired about Celtic striker Odsonne Edouard

  58. I do worry about this season if we don’t spend big on quality

    Fulham will spend big. Wba already have some very decent attackers and will spend a bit.

    West ham won’t be so bad this season. Burnley probably won’t

    I can’t really see who we are better than

  59. Would love us to make a statement and get Odsonne Edouard, but we don’t do things like that

    We will walk away from the 40 million and probably get Watkins

  60. Frem,

    Disagree with you over Watkins, as I have watched him a lot this season, especially since the lockdown, and have been very impressed with his play, as have the commentators at the matches.
    Last night he had very little service, but his ability to hold the ball up was there for everyone to see.

    Part of Brentford’s problem last night was they were over defensive, just like Villa under Bruce, when we played Fulham in the final, ending up with the same result. If they had played more of their normal game, the result could have been very different, although I feel the Fulham players wanted it more, were more aggressive, and had players with the experience of playing at Wembley before.

    The advantage of buying the threesome, would be that they would not need the pre season to get to know each others play, and would slot easier into the Villa team.

    Reina, Guilbert, Konsa, Mings, Henry, Luiz, Grealish, McGinn, Benrahma, Wesley, Watkins.

    Not a bad line up to kick off with.

  61. We would still have the opportunity to bring in a couple of more quality players costing around the £40million mark, and have a good quality squad to meet the demands of the season.
    We would have only spent around the same as last season, £140-160 Million.

    This would be well within the figures that the board is looking to spend, and at the same time should be enough to keep all our fans on board. We could even afford to buy Joe Lolly as a squad payer!!

  62. PP. We are in for him. Percy has said, and he’s bang on

    I’m just not sure. 18 million is a lot. We need prem proven

    We could get Tammy for 25 probably

    It’s a risk

  63. Agree Paul

    If we took both Watkins and benrahama the chemistry is already there. More chance of getting going early.

    Can’t really turn our noses up at Watkins. Young English and can play wide right or up top. Nice to have a striker who can do both. Half the league want him though! Hopefully Deano can sway it. Can’t be the main st signing though and sure it wouldn’t be

  64. Tammy wont be going anywhere, and Birmingham is not a place to draw the top players, which is why Villa have often struggled to sign players.

    To get Watkins and Benrahma is a no brainer, but if we got Rico Henry as well, it would be a master stroke, as all the top teams are interested in him, but the three players know they will get the opportunity to shine under Dean, and will not be joining just as squad players!!

  65. PP – One thing if we were getting them at Championship prices but putting 40-45 mil on them would be a huge gamble. Of them Benrahma is the least gamble, Watkins will fall into the same pressure trap that Samatta and Wes did. For me a striker is where we need a tested PL performer.

  66. Watkins, Benrahma, and Edouard, plus sarr and another winger would be mint

    We want Aarons. He’s a right back. Why do we always sign right backs? It’s left back we need

    Taylor is simply useless and Targett isn’t great

  67. But I think we wibget prem proven players? I think that’s apparently the clubs plan

    So it’s strange being linked to strikers out the prem

    Couldn’t we get king or Wilson for 18 million?

  68. And the English marked is very overpriced. You get quality for 18 million, serious quality

    Isn’t Thiago from Bayern available for like 25 million? Madness. One of the best players around in midfield and we are getting Watkins for 18

    Not saying its bad but just shows our prices are mad

  69. The English prices reflect the fact that it is the hardest league in the world. The Championship also reflects that it is by far the toughest 2nd level league in the world, and probably tougher than a lot of higher level ones.
    Unless they have played at the very highest level for a major club, imports from other leagues are going to be cheaper, as they are untried and untested, which is why there are so many flops.

    I trust English players far more for the level at which they have played, their commitment and understanding of the English game.

  70. PP – I partly agree with you on the level of the Championship but it would be overstating to say this is the only reason for the high proces. The fact that PL teams are flush with cash compared to other leagues would definitely play a part in it, teams price based on who is asking. Even teams like Ajax or others who are in the CL consistently cant afford to pay sums that a bottom half team can afford.

    English game definitely makes a difference which is why Wes and others struggled (going down far too easily for example). Sky article says both Benrahma and Watkins valued at 25 mil each which is insane. I rather risk it on Lange’s scouting.

  71. PP- I watched a bit of the game last night and heard Smith saying Watkins played wide and at no9 at Exeter. He would not come at 1st because he thought he would be in Brentfords B-team but eventually Smith got him with the idea of making him into a no9 in time. So it appears it wasn’t the new managers idea but either Smiths or the clubs.

    I did think they would bottle it, all the signs were there last few games or they would of been up in 2nd. I’m sure he’s a decent coach and will learn but he has been a manager twice as long as smith now. I’m becoming more and more impressed with our manager if thats possible 🙂

  72. With Watkins, I’m going to trust Deano’s judgment there (as if I have a choice). Knows him, knows his mentality, and now he knows a bit about the PL.

    If he has the physical gifts, it just comes down to how strong he is mentally. Right attitude, mindset, makeup…however you put it, that’ll be the deciding factor.

    And £18m? Can’t see how that would bother us if we paid £22m for Wes.

  73. I’ve seen reports Brentford want 25 million for Watkins. Frem likes Edouard at Celtic who think he’s worth 40 million. A hat trick in Scotland is worth an assist in the EPL. I think he’d struggle in this league and Wes may well score 3 for Celtic.

  74. Villalore

    I’m not fussed where players come from, don’t buy into must of played in the prem. There’s been lots of crap players in the prem! If your quality and fit the system it’s fine. We all wanted tammy in the summer after what he did in the champ! Ash young came from the championship, Robertson etc

  75. H&V,

    Yeah, don’t know what to make of the price/clause. BBC saying there is a clause, and seeing reports Brentford want £50m-plus for the pair, £25m each. I guess if there really is a clause, Watkins could force their hand. Or competition will just push up the price, regardless.

  76. H&V,

    I tend to agree with you. If we were signing Sane, Aguero, etc., I’d say, yeah, proven. But that kind of proof is still too rich for our blood.

    And I don’t know that it would be bad idea to sign both him and Benrahma. I can see arguments against. Both seem better than what we have and already know each other. Big bonus. Good enough for a £50m spend? That’s a tough call. But I’m thinking playing and scoring lots in the Championship is no worse a bet than all but the big names in the other European leagues.

  77. IanG,

    Joint third with Greenwood? Fuck me. Mason looks three times faster. Just goes to show how deceiving things can be.

    I will say in my defense, however, that I figured he couldn’t be slower than Salah. Not exactly a speed merchant. Just very very good.

  78. Apparently we are leading the race for Watkins and Benrama. Don’t believe it but for £38 million could be decent business

    It’s a start, but still need another top striker and 2 wingers in

    We need to spend 100 million plus on 3 wingers and 2 strikers this month. D can’t go through the season again have no quality and no options off the bench

  79. IanG. Those stats can be miss leading. The runnhe recorded was a long sprint, but over 5 yards he’s very slow. I can’t remember him beating a full back. Ever.

    Engles was recorded top of the sprint list earlier in the season at one weekend, so that shows its misleading

  80. I have seen Trezeguet at Villa Park, and he certainly is capable of moving when he wants to, as can El Ghazi, but often the problem is the mid field slowing play, when quick one touch football would have made a difference.
    Mings was often one of the best at getting the ball out on to wide areas.

  81. Liking what I am reading about Milot Rashica, a young Kosovan winger at Werder Bremen who has agreed terms with Villa or Wolves, but they will not reveal which club yet. A buy for £18million, saved his club from relegation, and talked about as the next Messi. He scored 10 goals and had 8 assists, sounds like a bargain, and well within Villa’s price range. Let’s hope he chose us!
    Also linked to Max Aarons from Norwich City, a fine young full back, and great cover for Guilbert.

    If we succeeded in both the above for around £26 million, Watkins, Benrahma, and Henry for under £70 million, what a fantastic piece of business Villa will have done for the first time in their history. Less than £100million spent, and five first players recruited, which is within the budget Smith has been allocated, with it being doubled if we sell Jack Grealish.

  82. Trez the 4th fastest in the EPL? We need to know much more about how that was measured. He’s quicker than Sarr and Rashford? You’re trying to pull my plonker. Was he being chased by a lion when they timed him?

    El Gassy can be fast but only when he can be arsed. The coaching staff need to find out which motivational boot up the backside works with him.

    But really a team needs 3 quicks on the break, one central, one left, one right and a midfielder who can spot the moment of release. Jack can but the others are still work in progress.

  83. The more I read the various news stories and couple them with Smith’s admiration of Watkins and Benrahma, the more certain I am that they will become Villa players. It is a no brainer, as the two lads know that together under Smith, their careers will blossom, and Villa is the only club interested in buying them as a pair, with the price being a steal if everything goes to plan. Brentford can’t make Villa pay more than £18 million for Watkins, and £25million for Benrahma is not unreasonable, making a total of £43 million for the pair, and we can also afford the wages.

    Aarons deal should also be a good one to seal, and we can outbid the Germans.

  84. Paul

    I was thinking today how much of an advantage it would be having those 2, already know each other, dean knows them and should fit in quick as its a short pre season and need players to hit the ground running

  85. Some are saying that Dean Smith took over the defensive side during lockdown, you would assume that would be Terrys job. Fits in very conveniently into us being pants in defence until then but I can’t imagine Smith letting him just carry on when it was so poor at times so probably a bit of inventive thinking.

    We are suppose to be after this lad Takefuso Kubo Japanese international.

  86. Mark

    Nice to see us linked to other names. We just talk about the usual obv ones like Watkins etc but like Wesley, guilbert etc I reckon we will get a few obscure signings. Think that chap ain’t coming to us sadly though

  87. Watching Ollie’s goals for last season – , a lot of them are from the 6 yard box. Will he will find that much space (or defensive errors) in the PL, doubtful. But that goal at 4:20 minutes was a good one, great technique.

    Still need a more experienced PL striker IMO.

  88. Yeah he can’t be the only st brought in. He’d be great as can play in all front 3 positions.

    Mackenzie looks a great appointment. We seem to be appointing these performance scout types every week!

  89. I’d snap Lazio hand off for 13 million for Wesley.. He’s certainly not a 13 million pound striker

    Accept and go sign a couple quality strikers

  90. Villa lore. It worries me about Watkins to. He seems a poacher and not much else

    At this level you need to create your own goals

    Personally, for the money being rumoured, we can get better around Europe for the same price. Im not convinced of Watkins

  91. And on Benrama, he seems more like a number 10,more like a Jack. He certainly has little pace

    We need pure pace on the wings. Like Sarr and someone else

    But with this new scout and the guy and Lang, I think we will have a lot of surprises

  92. Frem I was thinking that about benrahama, can play wide and cm. He has bags of pace and more importantly is quick with the ball. Don’t mind him jack swapping positions in games. Want buendia for same reason. Plays rw and cm. Be nice to have options.

  93. Shakespeare has been coach in a team that won the prem. Also managed games in the champions league. Will only be good for us

    H and V. Certainly hope he gets Sarr.

    I’d be surprised if we get Benrama H and V. Brighton are a fairly attractive club also so maybe Watkins could be attracted. But we are great club

    The Smith link might help,but honestly not to bothered about those 2. I’d much prefer Sarr

  94. Frem go and watch Watkins as a winger he can score all sorts of goals , also a poacher is definitely needed we missed a hatful in the 6 yard box this season

  95. Mark. Yes we did. I still think we need a better all round striker. Wesley won’t be good enough. Id like Eduard from celtic

  96. Think it depends on the price, Frem. Say we’ve paid one of four installments. If they’re £5.5m apiece, and we got £15m-£17m, they might be willing to take the loss and clear him off the books.

    Also wouldn’t surprise me if he’s kept around so he can relax, learn, offer a change-up, etc.

    But if rumors are true and we can get up £17m, and he can reallocate that amount of money (we’d just be back to owing the same to someone else), maybe he’d want want to throw that toward Watkins so he could get him and Edouard, for example.

    Never know.

  97. Do you think with Lange and this former Leicester guy, who signed Kante, Mharez etc, that wjll be sign expensive English players?

    It doesn’t seem there style, or Smtihs really.

    But then again we need prem expirence

    That’s why I can’t see us spending big money on Watkins or Benrama. They don’t have experience in the prem, and it’s not the peoples style who we now have the club to go spend 20 million on a player

  98. Think you are not quite right. Smith and his team are comfortable now spending in the £15-£25 million bracket, which will not buy top Premiership players, but it will buy players with a good CV and potential to make it big in the Premier league. Villa have lost out too many times on over priced players, and they will be very cautious.

  99. We seem to be more interested in beefing up the coaching staff rather than the playing staff if recent appointments are anything to go by.

    Villa dropped 23 points last season from winning positions. If we had managed to keep half of them, we would have finished 13th. Is current thinking going along the lines of better game management?

  100. Frem

    Selling Wesley for 13M would be madness

    I believe he could get us 12/14 goals in the Premier League next season with the right service.

    He needs another season and he is a Brazil International.

    One decent season and his price escalates.

  101. Richard. I think we’d be crazy not to accept if they offer more money. Wes won’t score more than 10 goals. I thought he was absolutely awful

  102. Frem,
    I can understand why you feel like you do, but Wesley was in his first season in a totally different style play with players he did not know or speak the same language, and he was put out of the game by Bertie Mee, who must have the top score for injuring players in the Premier league this season, on New Year’s Day.
    I am sure by now he has grasped the language, learned more about the English Premier league, and will be raring to go, and his tally of 5 goals in a poor team last season should expand to at least 12-15 next season. We all need to be patient. Look how Douglas Luiz improved at the end of the season, as he settled down.

  103. I remember Fernandinho bullying Wesley when he played centre back. Wes is 10 years younger and twice the size and just wasn’t up for the battle

    Things like that are why wes isn’t good enough

  104. Frem
    You seem to want a lot today, & the sun is only just over the yardarm.
    I think we need to clone god & Gerry Hitchens & then rob a bank.

  105. Apparently a swap deal for Hogan and Wilson could happen. Imagine. Would be a great deal. As I said before, j don’t think we will be in for Watkins at the prices rumoured

    What does worry me though is why we haven’t got Ryan Frazer on a free transfer. Exactly the type of winger we need

  106. 40 million for Sarr. Go and pay it Villa

    We need to send big again. We don’t have good wingers or strikers. Needs a huge overhaul

  107. I love the appointment of Shakespeare. Real quality experience. However, Villa now have 4 people making decisions – DS, JT, o’Kelly and Shakespeare. I’m a believer in 2’s company and 3 is a crowd, but 4….really? How can that work and why for heaven’s sake do you need four?

    H&V and other fans of Wesley – I agree that Wesley deserves another year. However, I disagree on the comparison with Luiz starting poor and coming good….and inferring Wesley has a good chance to do the same. Luiz came from Man C and was captain of Brazil u20 team that won WC (and I think player of the tournament). Man C only ‘loaned’ him to us as they couldn’t guarantee him enough games for a work permit. Wesley came from some club in Belgium, a league that’s probably comparable to Scotland. So in my view I expected both to need time to settle. However, based on what I wrote above I always knew Luiz would come good, Wesley for me is a flip of a coin at best

  108. Viilamd- luis never players for Man City he’s been in loan in Spain for two years. All our Belgian imports have champion league experience and know each other which was the point. Wesley was showing signs before his injury ahead of Luis in that regard .

  109. Frem – you are delusional

    Stones to Villa isn’t going to happen. It is not just the transfer fee but the wage structure
    He is probably on 150k per week at City

    Villa pay on average 35-40k per week

    And players like Sarr and Stones will go to teams that finished above Villa in the league

    Apparently Liverpool want Sarr and Chelsea want Stones

    It is going to be difficult to sign players this summer.

    Even if we do have 100m

  110. One thing we need to do as well, even if Jack stays, is sign another centre attacking mid type player. We onky have Mcginn and Jack who can play that role effectively. We need upgrades on Hourihane. Go get Eze. Or Beundia. We need more depth.

    I’d sell Marvelous and go get Billing. I’d let Hourihane go as well if a decent bid comes in.

  111. One thing we need to improve on is ball retention. We were by far the worst side at keeping possession, mainly because of our wingers. Most the time Ghazi and Trez got the ball they gave it back. They aren’t good enough at this level. Both need to go. Really want Brooks from Bournemout. Looks after the ball. Then go sign 2 quick wingers

  112. Still don’t get how Bournemouth went down. There strikers and wingers are so much better than ours

    Howe had always been a bit overrated for me. Teams can’t defend

  113. Wilson is on 100k a week and turns 29 in Feb. Can’t see us going for that.

    It’s very easy to get excited about transfers but sometimes need to step back. We have just come up after 3 years in the champ and have survived relegation by a miracle! Your very good players will have bigger and better clubs than villa after them.

    Get benrahama and Watkins gone. Superb signings for us at where we are at now

  114. Frem- Bournemouth had injuries like us particularly Daniels their captain at the back. They also paid £40m for salanke and a winger from Liverpool that flopped. If that doesn’t make you think a bit nothing will bud .

  115. Just looked at wesleys highlights. He may not come good but give him chance to fail. The Everton game where he got motm and red nev and carra were singing his praises along with burnley and Norwich games is a glimpse of how good he can be. 22, called up by Brazil and a handful of games in the prem but we write him off. It amazes me

  116. Wes loves coming deep. He is calm and can play a pass. If we sign Watkins and he plays on the right with wes centre I can see a great partnership happening.

    Wes will come deep and create space and Watkins loves getting in the middle. Could be very decent

  117. I think Buenda, Watkins, benrahma, Wilson would represent a great window. Add a few bargains like Fraser or a few unknowns from left field we would be set up for an exciting season with good options from the bench .

  118. MK – I know Luiz never played for City, but they signed him for his potential and we’re smart enough to add a buy-back option. What does that say.

    I do agree though, Wesley can only be better with more support. He was far too isolated last year.

    I would be happy with Watkins and Benrahma as starters and Eze as a sub. That’s close to 70M. Hope we can get them in this week. I don’t think we need a LB. Targett is good and I still like Taylor. I didn’t see many mistakes from Taylor last year

    I really hope we don’t sign Reina. I cannot understand why we would with Tom and Jed.

  119. Villamd- to be fair Wesley had won two league titles and was a 4 in 1 goal scorer and still is with us. Where he excelled was a high amount of assists to go with that. Luis has far less success Man City player or not. Looking at the rest of our forwards I think it was no surprise Wesley struggled. Unfortunately injury leaves us guessing at what could of been, small margins but if he’d managed another 5 goals (4in1)who knows there importance .

  120. Mark

    Great list, I’d add Sarr to that and it would be perfect!

    We are getting everything right off the pitch and no doubt it will creep down to on the pitch.

    Dangerous thing to say as a villa fan but trust the process!

  121. H&V, thanks. Glad to know I’m not alone on rating Taylor.

    Really looking forward to see who we sign with the new management. It feels so good to be a Villa fan at last. Our owners really seem to know what they’re doing.

  122. Sheffield United ready to raid cash-strapped Wigan in bargain £1.5m Antonee Robinson transfer

    Are we going to wake up and do anything or be like last summer, slow and end up with people 5th place on our list?

    So many good players being linked to to clubs we should be in for

  123. With Dean taking a well-deserved break, and players on holiday, I think we’re still going to be waiting a little bit.

    Not to say Lange, Smith & Co aren’t working and in contact, but I’m guessing, like seasons past, most deals, whilst being discussed and enquiries made, aren’t going to happen just yet, despite the shortened time frame.

    I’m sure this is true for most clubs, especially the bigger-money deals.

  124. Frem,

    I think it’s all about adding 3-5 impact players.

    With Taylor and Elmo having one year each left on their deals, they may very well be staying as backup. Gotta pick and choose where to spend that money if we’re going large.

    There may be more than £100m, but that only equals 4 £25m players. So there’ll be a bit of jockeying. Want Edouard? Well, will it be £40m with Celtic aiming to keep him? Then you’ve got £60m left.

    In addition, they’re trying to nail down Jack, Tyrone, and Douglas in the meantime, so talking to their agents, awaiting decisions, etc.

  125. And to echo…Taylor is adequate for now as backup. Are there better LBs? Absolutely.

    But all this coaching and backroom fortification is about getting more out of what you’ve got. I like it, think it’s the way you go, more hands to specialize and be working closely with players. Smith was saying that they don’t usually have the time to do all that work with the players during the regular schedule. Shakespeare’s known for working closely with players in training, etc., and clearly knows the league and what it takes.

    Edens will be very familiar with large specialist staff, obviously is down with spending the money on a lot of behind-the-scenes training, development, etc.

    So you never know, but I think more comprehensive coaching, the defensive improvement seen after the break, means there’s places where they think they can stand pat to invest elsewhere.

  126. Yep assistant coach’s, we now have three same as city and Liverpool and I’m sure a few others. I assume Shakespear is an overall coach vs JT and Okelly who are defence and attack. Very Wise of Smith I think to plug a knowledge gap too. I expect to see him heavily involved in match days.

  127. We have Taylor and Targett as left backs and still don’t want Robbinson from Wigan for 2 million l. Unbelievable. Much better than Taylor

  128. Frem- we can’t buy them all bud, what if mr Lange has a few incredible bargains up his sleeve? at this point we just don’t know anything. If its anything like the last window we probably won’t either until they rock up at BMH.

  129. Must admit I’ve had a giggle at fans wanting us to go out and spend whatever on xyz. In this league at our stage of development we will be massively lucky to get Watkins and Benrahma let alone others we all want. We are not yet a big enough pull nor a massive wage payer in comparison. I hope it doesn’t end up a damp squib but there are a lot of teams out there with money, my only hope is we have a better handle on wages and more leeway to offer game time with the Euro’s coming around in the summer.

  130. Think its a bit early to be panicking about not buying players yet ..
    I agree with the Taylor comments credit were it his due he has been really good post lock down. we do need better long term but if he maintains his current standard we can look at other areas first

    Big up for James Chester we certainly would not be premier lge with his amazing efforts

    love that man u got a slap in the face , its so rude talking to the press rather than the club about one of there players all the time

  131. Agree runtings, Chester was immense for us on and off the field, will never forget him playing through his injury (may have caused some long lasting damage there). Was a calm player, really enjoyed seeing him as captain. You can see from the posts that a lot of players are sad to see him go, and fans too. All the best to him.

  132. Runtings

    It could be a strange window. Still got the cup games being paid. The covid effect, will players be more expensive or cheaper or will clubs be forced to sell? And th window is open until October

  133. Mark

    Yeah posted something similar earlier. We are desperate to see us buy quality and not get into another relegation battle fair enough. But quality players will have lots of clubs after them or wanting to play in Europe on big wages. We are newly promoted and just been lucky to survive!

  134. Frem, I have reservations about Milot Rashica. I think our CF needs to be bigger than 5’10” in height. He won’t get much change out of some giant back 4 players he’d meet. Most teams have them.

    Our legendary CF’s of yore have all been big guys capable of dishing out some stick as well as taking it. Wesley has the build but seems far too gentle.

  135. Fascinating how everyone talks about us recruiting players, whether they will come because of the money, etc. How great a club we are etc.
    The reason young players choose where they will go, is often based on where they will live. How close will they be to the in crowd…
    Northern clubs Can recruit because of the Northern inner circle, living and playing around Cheshire,
    The Southern circle living around Poole and Swanage, and of course the main draw of London.
    Birmingham and the West Midlands struggles to recruit top players.
    This does not just apply to football, but many other walks of life.
    Just remember the age of the players you are trying to recruit, and their interests.

    Times change, and maybe now there are more Midland clubs , this will change and the culture.

  136. Plug

    More I look at Watkins the more I really like. I’m old fashioned and love the st to hold play and make it stick, so crucia. And Watkins is great at it. Quick, strong, and knows how to poach a goal. Agree with frem though 25 is a lot. How much did Maupay go for last season?

  137. H&V- Watkins out of all the forwards we are linked with has the lot. He has played CF before at the age of 16 for exeter which tells you something about his strength. Add to that his intelligent play and I think him and Jack will be on the same wavelength.

    One thing I really like is he has no injury history, has played the full season for years, that says he’s a natural athlete ( no imbalances) and fast healer. He’s smack on that 24 year old point as well, you would think he will get better over the next 4 maybe 6.

    As far as goals go he has scored at every place he’s been. He has a 2.3 goal per game career average and he has only played one season at CF. Not a great assists record as a winger compared to his 10 goal hauls in the last two seasons there, so a no brainer where his strengths lie, gets 60% shots on target.

    Smith Knows the lads mentality, turned down Brentford and us because he thought he would not get a 1st team spot at 17 so confident in his own abilities and not all about the money.

    Worth reminding ourselves about that last great CF convert from the Wings Henry at Arsenal , In the same mold? probably not but I would not like him to go elsewhere to find out.

    would I drop £25m on him? yes I think I would as come Next summer that will be £40+ . Smiths problem is balancing that with our other needs. I just Hope Lange can make some ridiculously cheap impact with a few gems good to go, we will see.

  138. H&V- I would say that its about right considering the money we dropped on Much lesser players when in the Champs.

    I think he is capable of making an immediate impact at Villa and would get game time. We could have him for the season start, that might be worth that extra £5m by end of the window. Otherwise we start with Samatta or Davis.

  139. Maupauy went to Brighton for £20 million, while we were paying £22million for Wesley/

    I have gone and spent under £100 million for Villa and got the players we need,
    Ollie Watkins has a release clause of £18milion, with Benrahma at £25million,Buendia at £20 million, along with Max Aarons for another £10-12milion from Norwich, and finally Matty Cash for £10million plus Henri Lansbury from Forest.
    Still enough left to buy Joe Lolly as a squad player for around £8 million.
    Just need them all to sign, and be happy to play for Villa!!!

  140. PP- Maupay 10 goals in settled side Wesley 5 in half a season in a cobbled together one, like them both, Watkins is different again.

    Think the release clause has been declared a no go but like your thinking.

  141. MK
    Heading ability of Andy Gray, and his bravery is something that has been missing at Villa ever since.
    He was just amazing in his belief that the ball would be his, and he made sure it was, nine times out of ten!

  142. Well, so far, I have to say I’m not unhappy about the links that are persisting (Watkins, Benrahma, Rashica, etc), especially since I’ve stopped hearing about Callum Wilson.

    I’m also really optimistic about the overall staffing and structure. I think Lange and Mackenzie complement each other very well. I’m sure they’re hard at it, evaluating the data and film on all the players you’d think we’d be moving for. They should have plenty of alternatives lined up, too. I also think Shakespeare will be a good addition (he’s in every library, after all), and it speaks well of Smith to bring him in.

    If we do what we all expect and consolidate our position, we could well have the pieces in place for an exciting spell.

  143. And don’t think you can really argue with £25m for Watkins. What I like is that he’s a completely different kind of player than Wes, and the sort we haven’t had in ages. We get options, big/small, holdup/playmaker.

    Like a couple of others have said, and echoing what I just said, I think our ability to identify underrated MFs who are ready to impress probably just increased 100%.

    As I got to reading more about Mackenzie, I really liked what he’s saying. You can talk about data all you like, but it seems like he knows what to look for.

  144. JC- I think it looks bit of a dream team, we have been threatening for years with Garde, and various DOF’s to overhaul the structure and planning phase but have chickened out or fudged it.

    Shakespeare knows Smith form his playing days so it speaks highly of Smith considering the level Craig has Coached at, Speaks also of Smiths humility and willingness to learn. After all Shakespeare has managed in the Prem which brings its own Danger for Smith.

  145. H&V- When you think about it the players are either on holiday or involved in cups. There are now 31 days to kick off which leaves little time for pre-season nor friendlies. The chance to buy and bed players in will be next to zero. Plus the window runs a month into the season. Most teams will want to have a team to put out by season start so do they use players they want to sell until replaced or not?

    So its going to be tough with players coming in late maybe unlikely to have any game time for 2 months potentially. We are in a good position if all are fit as we are unlikely to lose many, if Jack goes then all bets are off.

    For me if we slap £50m on Watkins and Benrahma ASAP that gives us a better team straight away from the off and might make the season look very rosy by end of October.

    A lot will depend I feel on who we draw in those 1st few months, and how they handled the end of the season/rest period.

  146. Well this morning’s gossip is about Tom Heaton being our number 1 keeper again now, with Reina off to Valencia on a permanent deal.

    Signing of Ollie Watkins is still strong and Rashica, with Tod Cantwell and Buendia from Norwich all strong too.
    I think your summing up is spot on, which is why Villa are looking at players that are already here playing Premier league or, and at the same time, looking at players who are used to playing together, and playing a similar style to Villa. This would apply to the Brentford and Norwich pair.
    Certainly gives a strong advantage at the start of the season.

  147. Yeah it’s all a bit up in the air this window and next season. It would be great to have fans back in.

    Agree on Watkins and benrahama, could well fit in straight away and improve us no end from the off.

  148. If reports are to be believed, Jack is meeting with Purslow this week. It can go one of two ways. Either he wants to leave and be part of a better team, or he wants to stay and be part of the team currently being built.

    If it’s the former, I can’t see Villa letting him go until replacements are sourced so it’s quite possible we’ll kick off the new season with Jack anyway.

    On the other hand, the way Compass are working leads me to think that we’re constructing a team along the lines of how Ron Saunders did it. Exciting times ahead. The key was avoiding relegation last season which would have set the plan back.

    With respect to the Bard’s appointment, it could turn out to be Much Ado About Nothing or it could be As You Like It. We watch with interest.

  149. PP- Even Rachica fits the mold, a quick look at Werder Bremen and their coach see’s them playing very similar to how we have tried but ultimately failed to do this season. Mainly I’d say due to a few of the cogs not being familiar with the demands of the league and style.

    We lacked the high press and pace, Jack was our best presser so that says a lot.

    A front Three of jack, Watkins and Rachica is almost identical to Werders approach with all of the players being comfortable right across the front line.

  150. Jack’s meeting is over wages and what he expects. Villa were offering him a new contract based on a wage of £100,000 per week, whereas Jack believes he is worth £200,000 per week, and that looks like a stumbling block for Villa, and I do not believe they are ready to pay those sort of wages, until they reach Champions league and the top six in the Premier league.

  151. I’d be amazed if he got anywhere near that, thats higher than most of city, manure , Liverpool and Chelsea’s top players, Salah’s on £200k.

  152. PP,

    If it does come down to just wages, I’d think something can be sorted. They may give him an escalator, incentives. Or just sell someone for £5m.

    Difficult to say how hardball Compass will be, as it’s difficult to say how unhappy Jack might be, and how they view his commitment so far (assuming they’re grateful). Could come with a guarantee to let him go next year…never know.

  153. And I’m not sure it’s Jack who believes he’s worth £200k. Paper, agent talk. What MU are purportedly willing to offer. If that’s a real number from them, it’s probably designed to agitate Grealish and see if he’d force a move for less than £80m. I think Compass would tell MU to shove it, if that’s the case.

    But again, who knows.

  154. I’m guessing wages, yes, £100k, maybe up to £150k…I’m sure the talks will also center on signings: who they’re targeting, and convincing Jack that we’re serious, on the way up, and that he’s the centerpiece, will be among the biggest of Villa legends.

  155. Osil at Arsenal is on £350,000 per week, so Jack’s demands are surely what he can command from a top six club, for his talents.
    Villa as a mid table team would just not be in that league, and new arrivals would expect a similar deal.

  156. PP- a few at City like DeBruyne are on that but they have won titles etc, Manure pay their keeper the most in the uk I think which is nuts as he’s been pants, also Maguire on a huge amount, also been average.

    I have been one of Jacks biggest fans but if he goes for £80m 200k+ a week he might just go the same way. He has never played in a side full of talented players and that might be his biggest challenge. I guess we will soon see.

  157. Maybe some day the premiership will consider it needs some sort of wage structure and limitations.

    I see now that Wolves are out of the running for the Champions League the pundits are picking off the players to go elsewhere. Whether it happens or not, is another matter, but there could be some departures, including Traore and Raul Jimenez. Funny how outside the Midlands, that Wolves is considered a small club. The same attitude which faced Leicester City after they won the Premiership, and could only sell players, but not attract top stars.
    Can’t see Villa offering Jack much more than already has been offered, so he must make the decision about where his future lies.

  158. I would give Jack 150k/week and ask him to stay for one more year. That’s still huge money for a 24 year old.

    We’re in a much better place going into this season. Even with no signings, we have Shakespeare who has to be worth an extra 10 points. The team over the last 9 games is much, much better that the team over the previous 29 games. Plus we have Heaton back, who I believe is far better than Reina. And hopefully Wesley has settled.

    Add 3 new players and have some kids break through and we should be looking at mid table

  159. Unfortunately MD, you cannot pay Jack in isolation. Pay him £!50k per week, then McGinn and Mings want £100/150k per week. Next newcomers Watkins and Benramha also want similar sums, and suddenly Villa’s wage bill is exploding, or you get unrest in the dressing room. His wage has to be commensurate with the rest of the team. He certainly is entitled to more, but where is the balancing point!!

  160. Fairness in wages is an issue, certainly.

    To me, I’d think most everyone currently realizes Jack is by far the only (potentially) world-class player in the dressing room. Hourihane said as much.

    Coming up from the Championship, Watkins and Benrahma can’t expect nearly as much. “Haven’t proven yourself at this level. Get us up the table and you’ll be rewarded. We think that will happen or we wouldn’t be trying to sign you,” would be my message. They’ll still be getting a good raise.

    McGinn, due for a raise, I’m sure. He’ll also know he still has something to prove after being injured and out so long, and being off the boil heading into that.

    These negotiations are one thing I’m very glad not to be a part of.

  161. I really do think a league-wide salary cap would be the single-biggest thing that could be done to improve the game’s competitiveness.

    Doesn’t eliminate transfer fees, of course, might well cause them to increase since teams would probably have more cash on hand. But it would limit the amount of high-priced talent a team could accumulate, whatever they might have to pay for them.

    But I doubt it will happen (salary cap) of course because the PL overall with the TV money is not going to want to have to let go of talent to other leagues if their wage structures become more competitive.

    That said, I’d be willing to bet you might well have a 14-6 vote in favor of implementing a cap. Not that that’s how it would be decided, I don’t think. And the Villas or Newcastles (maybe) with rich owners might not go along because while it would benefit them short term, they’d be looking down the road when they’d expect to be able to take advantage of no cap.

  162. So tonight we’ve seen the passing of the great Barca team. They have a huge rebuilding job that needs to sweep out the old guard, Messi included. Huge salaries, old men, lack of desire. Does that sound familiar.

  163. JC,

    If you implement a salary cap it has to be across Europe, which will never happen. Why would EPL put a cap if Spain, Italy and Germany does not do the same


    Yeah, end of Barca. I enjoyed it though. Suarez is a knob. Messi looks past his best

  164. Is there actually a plan this transfer window?

    Surprised nothing is done yet and annoyed

    Will be like last season when we signed our 5th choice targets and no wonder we were shit

  165. We should have players in now. Season starts ina month

    You know we will go in with Trez and Ghaiz either side of Sammata on the opening day. The worst front 3 around

  166. Stop panicking Frem.

    Nothing will happen until next week when all the players report back from holiday.
    Work will be going on in the background, but there will not be any signings before the end of Monday.

  167. Frem- Your gonna have to face the fact things might not happen quickly, the players will have next to no Pre-season anyway, no real games to bed new players in either. likelihood is we will start with what we have and maybe 1 or 2 being phased in. Then anything else will happen as we ease into October. I cannot see Smith going for wholesale change, it would be stupid.

  168. So Milot Rashica doesn’t want to join us

    Once again we won’t get our 1st choice players. We are going to get more Trezeguets and Wesley’s

  169. Frem,

    Yes, apparently Rashica doesn’t want to move to a second -rate Premiership side that is likely to be fighting relegation, and this is where Villa may have difficulty in recruiting players. They need to be convincing in where they are going and show that they are recruiting other good players that will demonstrate that they are looking to make the top six within the next two years.

  170. PP & Frem,

    Rashica wants to stay in Germany with a top team. Would be a huge risk bringing a Kosovo player that doesn’t speak English and expect him to settle and be one of our best players.

    Let’s play it safe and get relegated/championship players in.

    It would be nice to see stats on how many foreign players have become key for their clubs in their 1st 4 months, especially strikers/wingers. I bet it’s a tiny percentage

    Any, like everyone I can’t wait to see who we sign

  171. Frem- yeah because Poch would be attracted to Villa even less than Rachica appears to be, time to face reality mate we are going to have to earn a reputation.

  172. Frem,

    Transfers are just difficult a lot of the time. It’s not just pick a player and write a check. As PP and MK are saying, there’s the club’s pulling power. There’s selling a vision, the club’s prospects and ambitions, who they’ll be playing with, whether they think they’re going to shine in a set-up, or fall off the radar. There’s the player’s state of mind, agents, whether they want to change leagues and surroundings. To be honest, Rashica might never have even heard of Villa until we started inquiring.

    Not sure who said it earlier, but it’s like dominoes. A Watkins-Benrahma deal might convince someone else. Or an Origi-type signing. Meanwhile, more than one club is jockeying for most players, they’re trying to get their best deals with all the above considered.

    If you’re playing in Belgium, and only one team from a top-five league is in for you, doubling your money, putting you on a big stage…easier decision to make, easier deal to do.

  173. Frem,

    Also encourage you to read the series Mark linked to. Some of it has been pulled over into a Birmingham Mail/Live piece, but I think you should be encouraged after reading it.

    Finding the right player at the right time, equalizing out levels of competition, tracking how well they’ve adapted to transfers, adversity, different set-ups. They’re trying to do it right, and his approach has led to some great signings and discoveries, players who have adapted, contributed quickly, and raised their games.

    In other words, don’t get too worked up. I’ve not done a stats comparison or an analysis of the Championship versus the Bundesliga, but Rashica may have no greater impact than Benrahma or Eze. Could be superstar-in-waiting.

  174. Speaking of stats, they’ll be running the rule over our lot, as well. Saw an interesting bit showing that Nakamba actually had good defensive stats, comparing well to Kante.

    We saw some hesitation on the ball, getting himself in a bit of trouble, leaving some passes short. But his intermediate pass completion rate was still relatively high. He may well come on a bit like Luiz did the more comfortable he gets.

  175. Good comments JC,
    You are on the money. Wouldn’t it be so simple just writing a cheque and signing a deal.
    Life is not like that, and in some ways football is no different to making films or putting on a theatre production. You need to have directors, producers and casting directors etc.
    You need the right people not only to fit the roles, but to be part of a team which will fit together in order to make a successful production, otherwise you could be on the path to failure and a commercial disaster.

  176. You really do need them all, PP.

    All our problems could probably be boiled down to not having a consistent ownership-recruitment-management philosophy. You’ve got Doug, his strengths and faults, not seeing the game was going to change, but then Lerner and MON set us on slide we’ve only just about recovered from.

    Sticking with Dean, getting in cutting-edge talent-spotters to recruiting again, and better, for what he wants, hiring veteran coaching…It’s how you actually build something. And it’s all about exciting, attacking football.

    Full credit to Dean. He’s come up the ranks with different understandings of what a manager should be doing. Doesn’t need to run the whole show or take all the plaudits, isn’t afraid to bring in a former manager who players seem to love in order to improve the training and development. Takes criticism, invites challenges and new ideas, keeps an even keel, is down to earth.

    I still can’t believe he kept us up, and I think it has everything to do with his calm approach and sticking to his guns. He never panicked, and when the chips were down, the players didn’t, either. Good to see Compass trying to build the sort of organization that stands a chance of getting us back where we belong.

  177. Perfectly put JC.

    Now this new management team, Compass and Dean have to convince the players they want, that this slumbering old historical giant is fit for purpose, and ready to take them on the most exciting journey of their lives and to the great heights of the football world, unlike the last twenty years, where we have won nothing, apart from a play-off final, and lost two cup finals.

  178. Spot on JC I’ve only been calling for this for what feels like eternity . I wonder if the fans of clubs like Southampton that went down this road were as impatient and short sighted as some of ours? 🙂

  179. Ha, MK. You have.

    Funny, reading the various tweets and reactions. Hurry up, don’t get it wrong, splash the cash, sign ’em all now. Then when it goes wrong: never rated him, who’s in charge, why do we always buy crap players and overpay.

    Things will obviously hot up as players return, and Lange and Mackenzie evaluate the options.

    I think of the “war rooms” in the NFL for the college draft. Armies of position coaches, scouts, head coach, general manager, owners…For months they plot out the six rounds of drafts over two days. Binders, big boards. Say you pick 15th, you game out who’s going to be gone by your turn, what you need, how they’re rated by outsiders, how you rate them, are they projects or instant impact. Do you trade up or trade down, get aggressive or stockpile depth? Do they have the arm-length, vertical jump, speed, power, quick hips to turn and run. Do they have a motor, how many downs do they take off. Where and in what system did they play in college, how many snaps, injuries, tackles, yards after contact, pass breakups….Goes on and on. All the film study, and there’s hardly ever a consensus.

    All of that and it’s still a crapshoot.

  180. John

    Nakamba has a bit of stick but short memories for s spell he was one of our better players. Just that his role isn’t very glamorous! Interested to see him like others in a second season.

  181. Yeah JC sometimes its about a bit of luck, hard to estimate the data’s percentage value, You would have to say its up there in the modern game.

    H&V just read that luis has to play ex amount of games and few other stipulations for his Visa so I think with the players they already have in DM we are safe.

  182. Apparently the same trainer that started following Luis on Twitter before his transfer is now following Ollie Watkins, could be the 1st man in, I hope so.

  183. JC – I love transfer windows. The excitement to see who we will sign. Getting up every morning and scanning the internet for rumors.

    MK – let’s hope we can get Watkins.

    I like Nakamba. He has a great engine, seems fast, and always puts in a shift. I think he’ll be better this year, with Luis slightly in front of him.

    I’m a bit worried with rumors that both Heaton and Jed will not be fit for the start of the season. I’m happy with any Nyland filling in, just hope we don’t waste money on another goalie

  184. Villamb

    I sometimes think the transfer window is more exciting than the footy!

    I’d say a gk is pretty important important tbf. I think any faith in nyland seems to be gone. Played at the restart then axed. I’d happily have a cull and sell steer, nyland and kalinic.

  185. VillaMD,

    Mainly joking in response to the Luiz twists…but can’t say I love them.

    GK is interesting. Saw the link, and was like, “What?” But it does make sense.

  186. IanG,

    It is a very focused set of players in all the talk.

    I might have more doubts about Watkins and Benrahma if Smith hadn’t already recruited them once. He has to have a very good sense after this last season whether they’re good enough. I don’t think he’s one to fall back on favorites from comfort or lack of imagination.

  187. I get the impression we will just be fed paper talk until the squad reports back on Wednesday, and then it will probably be several days before anything concrete happens.

  188. PP, paper talk is all we have been fed since the last kick at West ‘Aaaammm. With respect to Rashica having reservations about joining us……maybe he doesn’t think he can cut it in the EPL???? I mean, why else would he hesitate? Always assuming the paper talk has a grain of truth which is doubtful.

    Hope we don’t go wasting any more cash on goalkeepers. Steer, Nyland and Kalinic should keep us going until Heaton is up and running.

  189. Rashica?

    Been in a relegation battle, isn’t getting the German move he wants. Probably fishing for a less precarious situation. And, yeah, maybe he figures if he’s going to PL he wants a more settled side to make the transition easier. I could see it still happening, but might take a while.

  190. John

    Spot on. It’s starting to look like a tough window needing to be patient. Like frem says re trez who isn’t crap btw! Those types of players pretty easy to get and get the deal done. Now villa it seems want that next level player it’s not so easy. Raschica who we want which is awesome and heavily linked to Eduardo which is great, Trouble is those players don’t think like us and don’t see villa as a go to club. They will be in no rush to jump at coming to us but hold out and see if a club in Europe wants them.

  191. Frem it’s tricky. I’ve seen in the past teams like qpr, boro, Pompey dish out big long contracts on your next level stars, Juninho, Emerson ravenelli etc and go down and suffer massively.

    We will be more competitive with contracts but we won’t be going maze. But how do we get that next level of player in?! If we could get jack to sign a new deal may go a long way of attracting players. A statement like signing like Robinho to gain interest too maybe?

  192. Frem

    I’m not so sure about refusing to pay the going rate, think we will and a lot of clubs could well need to sell. Our problem is being attractive for the quality players to come too. Like John says it could well go to the last week of the window

  193. frem- Last season was 12+ players for £140 million, what bit of that surprises you that we had to compromise when clubs wanted OTT money for their players? This season its £100m on 3-4 and whatever we get from moving some on, at what point will you be satisfied that the club is operating in its best interest and not being cheap?

  194. H&V,

    I would agree that it’s more about perception for foreign players. Some will only come for silverware or at least to a club playing in Europe like a Wolves with a known foreign manager. It’s always harder when u just avoided relegation and are one of the favorites to go down again.

    For British based players that does not apply. Having Jack commit would be a huge statement. We have a spine of Heaton, Mings, Konsa, Luiz, SJM, and Jack that any British player should want to join…and we play attractive football.

    MK, On the signings I can understand Frem. It’s like asking for a bike for Christmas, but you want it now. Patience is not easy

  195. Far as I’ve seen, we’ve supposedly met Bremen’s asking price, so I don’t think we’re going on the cheap. An up-and-coming £25m winger/forward is about exactly the aisle we’re shopping in.

    Can’t forget that up to now £22–£25m has been our record signing (not sure where that ended up with Wes vs. Mings). We’re looking to make four of those in one window.

  196. Personally speaking, if Rashica is going to turn out like Pierre Van Hooijdonk at Forest, I don’t want him. If my memory is correct, that geezer went on strike looking for a move and told everyone he was “being careful with his career”.

    For me it’s all about team spirit rather than the individual. Far more potent. And anyway, I’m in the “midfield club” where the engine room exists of any team that controls a game. A big strong midfielder is top of my list followed by a striker. A better winger than we’ve already got is fine providing he’s prepared to become part of the tight knit family.

  197. Seeing pictures off Ghaiz and Trez back in training is absolutely depressing. If we go back into a season with those 2 as our main wingers we are going down

    waiting for our targets to go to other clubs as usual then signing a retard from nowhere as we are never proactive

  198. JC- I got a Raleigh Chopper one year, chuffed until I found out it got speed wobble going down a steep hill. One accident later and an infected knee requiring needles in the bum I decided it was not fit for porpose. Moral of the story be careful what you ask santa for.

  199. Just thinking earlier how hard it is to get next level in especially strikers. Look no further than West Ham and toon last summer. Both more established than us and wanted a striker. West Ham spent a long time twisting hallers arm to join which he didn’t really want to do and spent over 40 mill on him and god knows how much on wages. Identical over at toon with joelinton anothe 40 mill. It ain’t easy!!

  200. Frem

    I’m gagging for transfers too, love this time of year and not only that it’s vital for us and Deano. After compass statement I’m not sure they’ll accept another relegation battle. I’d bite your hand off now for Watkins and benrahama!

  201. H&V,

    The striker bit’s the hardest, imo…so much money, so little guarantee. Joelinton the perfect example.

    This Edouard, everyone seems to think he’d be nailed on to succeed, and maybe so. Haven’t seen him play. But if you’re spending £40m, you have to be pretty convinced.

    That’s part of why I like the three up top…spread around the scoring burden, put a little less pressure on each individual, create more openings. If we upgrade on each of those, I’d like to think we’re in pretty good shape. Especially if the incomings have good work rates and will support a high press.

  202. Yeah agree John

    If we can start the Season with a new front 3 it will be great.

    And then should lead to seeing us have more a dean smith team. I’d like us to have a clearer identity.

    You look at saints and what there new manager did, was superb and didn’t change even though they had a bad start. He got them playing to his style

  203. A front 3 would be ideal,

    I’d take the Brentford duo with Jack and have Rashica as super-sub.

    That’s still 25M left.

    JC – great comment on us looking at 4 new signings that will all be record signings. I forgot to think of it that way. Amazing job by the new owners.

    My buddy is from Egypt and he said Sawiris family are the real deal, and worth billions

  204. Apparently hepburn murphy has joined Pafos and scored a net full, must be a truly competitive league.

    On 15 July 2020, Hepburn-Murphy joined Pafos in the Cypriot First Division. In his first outing for Pafos, Hepburn-Murphy scored 7 goals in a single pre-season friendly game, a 9-0 victory against a Riga FC XI

  205. Plug I was thinking at least they are spaced out, last season we had some chunks that we either had to win every game or where likely to lose them all.

  206. Well wouldn’t you know it. We start the season by not playing, as our first game is against Man City away, and will be postponed, so our first game is the following week, home to Sheffield United on 19 September, unless the tv schedules change the date.

  207. MK – 🙂

    Looks like we are favorite to go down by the bookies and we ought to surprise them. One story says that DS doesnt want to shell out 55 mil for Said and Ollie (and he shouldn’t) which means we may go with more unproven players. Fine but DS doesnt have a lot of time to work with them. I still have faith we will do well though.

  208. Villalore, I reckon there’s some points for us in those last 8 games.

    Deano reluctant to shell out 55m on 2 Brentford players? And there is Spud up at the Way Ayes having to recruit out of contract discards. The FCB obviously is not going to get burnt again like the last time he gave Spud 40m (for Joelinton).

  209. Lots of fans are saying about our last 6 fix and worrying.

    We have just played Chelsea Utd wolves toffees West Ham eagles being 7 points off safety with no striker scoring and survived!!

  210. Villa fans are desperate for Watkins on Twitter. I don’t get the hype so much. He’s a lot of money for someone who might not cut it in the prem. Again with the new scouting staff I can’t see us spending that much on an unproven player

    Mark. Some players just haven’t got the room for improvement. Trez is on. And ghaiz. They don’t have the pace or technical ability to improve, or the mind.

    We need 3 wingers in and fast

  211. Frem no doubt there is some truth in that but neither you or I know who will or won’t at this point. All it takes is a change of mindset or like Jack deciding to use the Gym to go up a level. Watkins has the mentality and the body to go where he wants so I think he is worth that money just as people thought Maupay was. Watkins will be better than Maupay though.

    Blimey if fans are worried about the last few games already I give up, no wonder the world is hiding from the flu.

  212. Plug – I agree, definitely some of those will be winnable. If things go well its points for a top half finish that we should be targeting during this period here.

    We get an extra week of pre season (barring a Carabao Cup match) which should be good for us. Now need to get some players in.

  213. Frem

    I’m with you today. I want players in now! Getting anxious. Thought we would have Watkins in by now.

    Don’t worry about Watkins mate, I’m from just outside Exeter. Was always going to the top. So hard working and dedicated. Quick, strong and grafts and importantly has the goal scoring knack of right time and place. Being able to play in all front 3 positions is a massive plus too.

  214. With Watkins, I’d compare his tally to Tammy’s for us, and Chelsea weren’t letting Tammy go. Not sure of the ins and outs leading to Giroud starting, etc. (We all know Tammy misses his share.) Point is, I think most of us would’ve thought £25m was fair for Tammy.

  215. “We have just played Chelsea Utd wolves toffees West Ham eagles being 7 points off safety with no striker scoring and survived!!” Yep, and don’t forget Arsenal!

    No point in worrying about the run-in. We’ll be better this year, and I’m guessing we’re not going to be leaving as many points on the field as we did last year.

  216. On the pace of incomings:

    I’m going to assume there’s a very intelligent discussion going on right now (for Villa, certainly) about value, metrics, risks, etc. I don’t think we’re getting caught with our pants down. I think we’re probably actually being smart.

  217. Frem I would seriously recommend holding fire on bombing out young up and coming players after one season in England and top flight football .. as mentioned before Salah and KDB did even less in there first season , not saying they are as good but they could end up being a lot better. though El gazi doesn’t seem to have the right attitude all the time.

    We have a good base to build on ,very confident in the club under the owners the only destination is to success

  218. Even if we get a guy from abroad he had to isolate for 2 weeks so they aren’t going to be ready for the season. That’s why we need red players in early

    We will go with Sammata Ghazi and Trez on the opening day and look as lack luster going forward as usual

    Runtings. You can’t compare Trez to kdb. You can tell Trez just hasn’t got the abilty. He should still have good technical abilty but the way he crosses the ball and all is Sunday leage level. No whip or pace. I even simple passes for hin are hard. That’s nothing to do with a new league he just isn’t up to standard, same as Ghazi. Hadn’t shown a good be of technical abilty in a villa shirt. Both need to to and we need 3 wingers and 2 strikers in. And a Cam

  219. Apparently we are preparing a bid for Watkins

    What is this preparing a bid crap?
    We’ve had 3 weeks to do things and we haven’t even bid? Still preparing. Christ

  220. Haha, Frem.

    I hope Dean pops in for a read every now and then.

    I think they’ve looked, run the numbers, gone through available players elsewhere, watched film, looked at the GK situation, put out feelers about Origi and Brewster, Edouard, too. Waited to see if others were going to up the bidding on Watkins.

    Now it seems like they’re starting at the supposed release-clause £18m, probably to see what the player thinks. I doubt what we hear in the papers reflects the extent of contacts, etc.

    And we’ve apparently put in our bid for Rashica, and Leipzig don’t want to meet it. So, ball in his court, Bremen saying he’s put in his request to leave.

  221. lol Frem .. no i am not saying they are the next kdb just that they could end up being much better than you think they can be that goes for all the new players which is most of the squad

    don’t watch the press frem deal are being done by all clubs and you will start seeing moment when most club are finalizing deals , its the same for most clubs so far

  222. Frem- there has been very little business done, most of the deals have been free’s etc but the ones that have happened are by clubs that knew here they were weeks ago like Leeds, city , Chelsea.

    We on the other end had two plans on the last day of the season, we have just sacked the DOF and replaced him plus added to the team in the scouting department.

    We want a few players that would improve the team so if we rush this and grab at whats available we may fuck up. Watkins makes massive sense, the manager knows him and he is likely to fit in straight away which we need.

    This season is not going to be “normal” Most players have been abroad yet they are in training so two weeks in isolation? I doubt it, You get tested. Some teams in the champs will be desperate to sell as they have no crowds to pay the wages and they will ask for huge fee’s at this point, lets see who blinks.

    Personally I’d get Watkins asap, the rest can go to the wire but I doubt they will.

  223. I’ve never understood why so many clubs do transfers on the last day, and especially in the last few hours.

    Would be nice to get a couple in this weekend since training has resumed

  224. Leeds getting Leon Bailey, an unbelievably quality winger with pace.

    And we are sat here doing fuck all

    How can Leeds get hkm and we have Trezeguet. This club drive me mad.

    What are we doing

  225. Leon Bailey. Leeds

    Christ sake

    We should be doing business like this. We have money. No more shit like Sammata, Trez, jota, marvelous

  226. But seriously if they get Bailey and we we think not to we deserve another relegation fight. Sign another random shit player from Egypt

  227. Mark. Thing is we’d never entertain even bidding for a player of his quilaity.

    Dean Smith wants to improve by 15 points this season.

    Exciting stuff

  228. Rashica doesn’t want to join us

    It’s like last summer all over again.

    I thought we had shed loads of money. We are just so slow

    H an V.

  229. Cinderella didn’t get to go to the ball overnight.

    I think we all like the new owners, we’re all excited with the management addition of Shakespeare, we all are excited with the new recruitment leadership.

    Let’s try to be realistic on competing in Europe though, it didn’t happen for Cinderella overnight. I think we’re now in year one of a three year plan. Our most important signing is Jack

  230. Frem- How do you know? the papers will print anything on the net for advertising revenue. Every time you click another maybe/could be/ was rumoured article they get paid.

    Have a little faith that the clubs moving in the right direction. Man city had a ban that got overturned and finished in second, its not like our position where we could of gone either way. Its a lot easier to make plans when you know you are in the champs league again and have a £500m turnover. Those players were probably sorted out long ago during the ban, same with Chelsea. Man utd have done nothing.

  231. Billing linked. Would love him. Proper powerful athletic DM. We need more height in the side. Get marvelous out

    What annoys me about the no signings yet is that it’s kit like it’s hard to find better players than Wesley, Sammata, Trez, Ghazi and Jota. Pretty much every football player in those positions are better but we still haven’t been able to improve on them

  232. Seeing some more interesting players linked with Villa today, including Billing from Bournemouth, who would be good if the Rashica deal doesn’t materialise.
    Grujic from Liverpool is also an interesting one, as he has impressed in Germany where he has been on loan for two years, and would be around the £20miollion mark, which is our price range.
    I believe that Ben Foster said he would be up for a move to Villa, and would not cost anything.
    We should have signed him and Scott Dann from the Blue Noses when we got McCleish, and they would have made a big difference then. Foster is still a good keeper, and worth having for next season.
    I expect the Watkins and Benramha situation to be sorted by next Wednesday, with at least one of them joining us.
    I think that Watkins may be the more important for Dean, but he would love both.
    Just been re-watching the Home games against Leicester and Liverpool, which were turning points for us, with Mings not being fit in the Leicester game, and how fine margins were so game changing, El Ghazi’s cross shot being finger- tipped away, while Heaton was more easily beaten when if he had gone for the ball, he may have saved a goal.
    In the Liverpool game, twice Villa could have gone 2-0 up, especially in the second half when Trezeguet should have shot maybe, but he passed to Hourihane for what should have been an almost certain goal.
    In both games El Ghazi and Trezeguet were instrumental in attack and the only failing on El Ghazi’s part was whether he could have done more to close Robertson down and stop him scoring.
    A draw from the Leicester game and a win over Liverpool would have made a huge difference to us, and could have also made a difference to the league!!
    Then losing Wesley and Heaton just put too much pressure on the team, and it took the lockdown to save us.

  233. Everyone should relax regarding transfers.

    One thing is for certain – the owners of this club will sign players. They proved that last year. And they will back Dean Smith in the transfer market with better quality players.

    95% of the transfer gossip in the newspapers is pure garbagio. It is clickbait for advertising revenues.

    We all know that signing players are not straight forward. There are many factors involved.

    I would anticipate the signings to start from next week, with a striker being the absolute priority.

    Personally, I believe that Jack will stay. A friend of mine works for his agency and I believe Man UTD were interested at £50M but that is not going to be enough now we have retained our Premier League status. I expect to see Jack signing a new contract soon.

    It is great to see Heaton back in training.

    Keep the faith. New players will arrive.


  234. I also have a horrible feeling we won’t add any pace up front or on the wings

    One of the reasons we were so bad this season was how slow our team were. We could neve rget up the pitch quickly. Every attack was always slow. Or slow downed when wingers went backwards.

    Opposition full backs lived playing Ghaiz and Trez because they know they won’t get done one on one. We need wingers who are direct and quick and dangerous

    Leon Bailey

  235. Frem. We must be the only team in Premier League History who stayed up without our strikers scoring in the last 1/4 of the season.

    Not a single goal from a striker.

    We need strikers as a priority.

  236. PP- yes fine margins, we seem to forget how many goals we gave away and how many sitters we missed.

    Frem- Actually ElGhazi and trez in goals and assists terms and passing are above average in this league whatever you think of them. They could both improve with better players around them, remember they had next to no competition for their places and were new to the league and each other.

  237. I am enjoying watching last season’s home games and reliving what actually happened. I am fascinated by how much Wesley was involved in games, and rarely got the rub of the green from referees.
    Just watched the first half of the West Ham game, where McGinn was robbed of a goal by Mike Dean, which would have been given by VAR, if He had not blown the whistle before the shot, as he definitely had not pushed the player to get the ball, another one that got away. Also how bad was Jota at losing the ball.

    Time for lunch then the second half!

  238. Second half was ok to watch, except, as Jack admitted he should have scored, and would have, if he had gone for it with his head. Jota was eventually replaced by Elmo, but again we threw away a couple of points that should have been in the bag, but we did not do much wrong.

    Forgot to mention this was the match where Mings spells out that El Ghazi was not doing his defensive duties, and almost got a head butt in return!!

  239. Frem

    About being prepared. You have a point, this is why I was worried about the removal of Suso when the pre season is so short. surly all plans were ripped up and we aren’t targeting Susos players now and the new chap has his own ideas. Add to that its a real unusual window. Read today they said the trouble is every club wants the same players! It’s who blinks first. Championship clubs are going to break soon as they must need the cash with. No fans in the stadium. Brentford have a new stadium to pay for! It’s better to wait for the right player at the right price then panic now. I have zero patience but trust the process!

  240. Paul

    I didn’t think we were too bad at all this season, I quite enjoyed it! More often then not scored and took the lead against the big boys. Having mcguinn back fully fit along a settled luiz now will be like a new mid. Heaton and wes back fit too gives us a much better chsnce.

  241. Mark

    Nothing wrong whatsoever having trez and el ghazi off the bench. That’s very decent. Both are a nuisance and can make things happen. And both will be better next season, it’s what Deano does.

    Big no to billing. Waste of money. Don’t need him. My priorities are 2 st, 2 wingers and a number 8

  242. And a gk!

    It will be interesting to see if we do just sign 1 lw putting jack infield, having Watkins on the right and 1 st.
    Got a feeling we will sign a gk, Watkins, st, lw, and number 8

  243. The longer it goes on with no wingers and strikers the more worrying it is

    I don’t see why we haven’t at least got one winger and striker in.

    The likes of Taylor. Hourihane, lansbury, jota, Ghazi, Sammata, Trez shouldn’t be here. We should accept anything for any of them

  244. We beat the mighty leamigton spa 1-0. Today

    My god we need some serious quality or we are heading down again

    Leamington wingers probably better than ours

  245. Frem- team that faced Leamington

    Aston Villa: Akos Anody, Charlie Far, Jake Walker, Brad Burton, Jack Birch, Harrison Sona, Tyreke Wright, Ben Guy, DJ Sturridge, Lewis Brunt, Michael Tait.

    Substitutes unknown.

    1st team is in wales on a training camp.

    Get off the negative bandwagon mate it will do you no good.

  246. We are bidding for Eduard. 30 million.

    Shows how much faith we have in wes. He’s massively over rated by the fans. He was awful

    Probably wasn’t even a Smith buy. Get Watkins as well. Sell wes tk lazio

  247. Milot Rashica doesn’t want to join us either.

    You just know we will try all summer to get him, fail, and end up signing no wingers

  248. Would love Watkins and Eduard as two new strikers. Would be great. Our strikers simply aren’t good enough. None of them. Davis is our best in terms of his bullying of defence.

    Then we need 2 or 3 wingers. A left back. A CDM and CAM

    We need another 150 million. This team just isn’t anywhere good enough to stay up again, or get any higher than 17th.

    Even Hourihane siad it him self. We need quality.

  249. Watched Eduardo twice now. Yesterday games the second time. 30 mill a hell of a lot of money., we give wes stick for apparently being immobile God knows what we’d do with that lad. Taking into account the championship is harder than Scottish footy I’d have Watkins over him all day long.

    But I’ll trust it if we get him

  250. H&V interesting comment on Eduardo I have only seen his highlights looks skilful and not that slow but I was wondering what his general play was like.

    Meanwhile we are signing another youth

    2Aston Villa are close to announcing the signing of 16-year-old Norwich City forward Ruben Shakpoke “

  251. Watkins and Eduard would be so good though. Wesley isn’t good enough. That was so obvious but villa fans don’t want to see it. Hence we want 2 strikers. Hopefully

    Just Benrama alone isn’t good enough as the wingers. He has no pace. We will still be the slowest moving side. We need a quicker left back as well. Targett is slow and Taylor is to.

    I don’t think either of them are really good enough. Taylor certainly isn’t as back up.

  252. Let’s say Targett gets injured for the season. You can’t have Taylor as replacing him for 38 games. We will go down on that

    We need a better left back in this month to

  253. Last season was a very testing time without a proper pre-season, no really settled team, unlucky injuries, poor decisions by players without experience. Some silly mistakes, but as H & V has said we were not that bad.
    This coming season we have experience, more settled players, an improved coaching staff, and the players now know what to expect, and what is expected of them. Let us look forward with a great deal of hope and expectation, and I am sure that we will be strengthened in the areas needed.
    However, I do think that Wesley, Samatta, Trezeguet, El Ghazi and Nkamba can improve greatly, as they are young and at the beginning of their careers. We don’t need to write them off. We may loan a couple out to improve their experience, Jota and a few more may go on loan too, if they are not sold on.

    I am sure that we are now getting close to finalising a few deals, but as is the normal practice, until they are ready to be unveiled by the club it is a waste of time believing paper gossip.

  254. Expect us to sign Ben Foster in the next few days, now that Heaton is not going to fit before the international break, and Reina has signed for Lazio. A goalkeeper is now a priority to start, along with a striker, winger and CM, and maybe a decent fullback.

  255. Eduard is a proper striker. Good movement. Good finishing. Doesn’t scuff his shits like Wesley

    Get it done. Don’t do like last summer and get our 5th choice targets

  256. Would definitely prefer to pay 40 for Eduard than 25 for Watkins

    Don’t know what it is about Watkins, I just don’t really want him

    You see a lot of championship players fly in the leaguex then flop in the prem

  257. Frem- how many forwards from the scottish league have made it in the prem? not knocking Eduard looks talented but the champs is a harder league by far. Read an article and it looks like drops deep like Wesley and links play, and just like wesley did in Belgium he scored plenty and assisted a lot for a CF. The reality in this division though was the same as it was all those £40m buys like Haller and Joe Linton.

  258. Dean already has full knowledge of Watkins and Benramha, so it is basically a no brainer that he should recruit them if they fit his plans, and for them they will have the confidence of knowing him and Kelly.

    I would be surprised if we recruit from Celtic, as the price is above Villa’s ceiling, and we have other needs with what is left of the budget after signing Watkins and co. That is of course, if Jack stays, and we do not have another £70/80 Million to spend.

  259. Mark

    I like Eduardo a lot but no where near 30 plus. 20mill with add ons should get it done, not like Scotland are awash with money! Like you say he reminds me of wes. Those 2 rotating would be decent. And I love the idea of having Watkins on the right of the 3. No doubt they link up would be great. But all the speculation we will prob sign people we never heard of!!

  260. Last one on Eduardo. Celtic have about 80% possession every game and the league is easy to say the least. Like I said earlier seeing the stick wes gets from villa fans I’d give it a month for Eduardo to get stick! Does he have the work ethic and fight for the prem?

  261. Pp

    I was looking at the league table. You see villa scoring goals wasn’t a prob, scored more then a fair few above us and won more games. Our only trouble was seeing out winning positions. We turned wins into defeats. the injuries to Heaton, wes mcguinn killed us and just not seeing out a few draws was are only trouble. Really not far off being. a good mid table team.

  262. Watching PSG v Bayern. Absolutely depressing how far off we are. Watch the front 3 of either side. The pace of the wingers. The quality. Then we have Trez and Gahiz. Soul destroying. Needs to be sorted

    2 weeks till the start. Its criminal. But our front 3 against Sheffield will be Sammata Trez and Ghazi

    We need another baller like Luiz to cover DM. Has a great range of passing. Then Marvelous comes in wjo can’t pass 5 yards. I’d like Billing

    Look at the pace of Davies at LB. Makes such a huge difference to a side. Something needs sorting to. Targett and Taylor. Slowest Gill backs around

  263. Mark. Wesley didn’t even score much in Belgium.

    Eduard scored 30 goals this season. Proper striker. Van play on the shoulder to. Pace. Looks a poacher. Everything Wesley isn’t. How many times wes wasn’t even the box this season. He’s a really poor striker

  264. Bayern are a phenomen

    Will never see us at that level. Especially if people at the club think players like Wesley and Trez are good

  265. A team working for hard each other will often beat the team with better players, because they still have to put the ball in the net.
    That’s what I saw, & Bayern had duracell batteries, & they defended everywhere on the pitch.
    It’s what we should aspire to.

  266. Frem- Eduard got 22 and 7 assists last season in the jock league, 2 in the champs league and 4 in the europa.

    Wesley got 13 and 7 assists in his last season with Brugge 2 in the champs and 1 in the europa.

    As to which league is better? Brugge possession stats are average, Celtics ridiculous.

    So wesley wasn’t in the box for us much? no surprise really as he plays deep like Eduard and links play and Villa get an average 43% possesion. Began to get more chances when we changed tactics. Eduard plays in a two up front at present and enjoys 60-80% possession regularly.

    Eduard looks very good but the defenders resemble the keystone kops and if he can dance around the prem defenders as he does at Celtic then he’s worth £80m.

  267. Frem and as for a poacher he looks to play one twos mate, more like a one man show at times, don’t get me wrong he’s decent but Watkins is a poacher in the 6 yard area, Brentford play their CF’s that way, Maupay was the same, they put the ball into areas that get goals, Watkins job is to be there at the right moment, Eduard is a more creative CF. I suppose it depends on what Smith see’s and wants from the CF, I would take both.

  268. If Villa are going to have a chance of becoming as good as Bayern then we need to stick to the course we are on. Develop our networks and youth set up. Bayern have youth set ups all over the place but particularly in USA and Canada with access to thousands of potential stars. Davis is Canadian and likely the fastest player in Football.

    We won’t get there by throwing money at the 1st team imo we don’t have the turnover or clout yet.

  269. Funny last time we had to play Bayern they said Aston who didn’t even scout us then lost the European cup to us … amazing young side and when players like a Courtinho are a bit part player for you you know you are powerful

    I am with Mark on Eduard I haven’t seen anything that makes me think he would come in and be brilliant in the premier lge ,thankfully though we have an exceptional back room staff now with fine track records in the business and fully trust them to make Villa a much better side come the end of this window

  270. It’s absolutely shocking not to have signed anyone yet

    I think Smith is struggling to attract players

    We should have been ruthless and got a bigger name in

  271. It wasn’t really the great escape

    We were just shit until last 4 games.

    We should have been comfortable staying up. We just were so poor, but teams were even worse

  272. Just listened to Dean Smith he said he wanted Shakespeare back in Dec but missed him by one day as he signed for Watford, shame.

    Frem- you will be glad to know the wheels are in motion on transfers

  273. Frem- Right so when Leicester were shite until the last 7 games that was what? the slightly less shite escape? Its called a league and in this one the 3 worst go down over 38 games. Considering that we were nailed on from the Leicester game to go down it wasn’t a bad effort, we improved while others fell apart.

    So how come we should of comfortably stayed up if we were poor? I expect it was because of Smith yawn.

  274. We failed to win In our first 4 games back was it?

    We ended on 36 points? Or 35?

    We were were lucky 3 teams were worse than us because that’s a shocking return

  275. Frem- not with you he doesn’t he gets f all praise.

    You do realise that every season the 17th place team is usually lucky there were 3 worse teams?

    He has said he was naive going into the season trying to win every game, what happened after the break was how he dealt with it. You can slag him off all you like but he’s here until he’s not, so at least you will have something to complain about ( as if you need it ) even if we play well, I suspect you will think it should be better 🙂

  276. And 1st 4 games back we drew at Newcastle drew with Sheffield and lost to wolves and Chelsea by one goal a deflected goal at that. those points kept us up.

  277. I am not sure why you are so frustrated and panicking Frem. If Smith and Villa are to build a successful team, then it has to be done carefully, and not rushed into. We need to ensure we have players that fit the rest of the team, and the way we play, and at the same time, have the mentality to cope at the club, under the pressures they will be put under.

    I am sure it is also a case of the players being aware of the plans for recruitment, and how they fit together with the new recruits. It is not just a case of signing some who is good in the position, but will they be good for Villa in the role they are being recruited for.

    I am sure by the end of the week, we will have at least two, if not three players being introduced to the fans, but all in good time.

  278. After the first 7 games last season we were in the bottom 3 with 5 points. Bournemouth were 7th with 11 points.

    Moral of this information? I ain’t got a f**kin clue what might constitute a good start.

  279. I panic because the club didn’t do well last summer in the transfer market

    I panic because we still have the likes of Ghazi, Trez, Taylor, hourihane, Sammata in our squad, who simply aren’t good enough but as it stands, will be tasked with playing a fair whack of games

    I don’t trust a club who thought Jota, Trez and Ghazi was good enough to go into a prem season. I don’t trust a club who spent 22 million on Wesley. I don’t trust Dean Smith judgemt to be honest. He thought this swaud was OK. The substitutions he makes at times are crazy

    I panci because I don’t trust people running the club and making judgement on players/ swuads/ tactics

  280. I got a feeling this is going to be the week for signings!


    I won’t hear of smith being frowned upon! The mans a genius. 14th in the champ, rebuilt the team. A great escape and cup final in under 2 years. Incredible

  281. Frem- Its going to be along season for you then mate.

    Need to make your mind up either we built a team good enough to beat the likes of Newcastle and Sheffield ( we actually did beat toon at home and should of away) Lots of teams should of beaten Sheffield and didn’t, they beat Wolves, Chelsea, Arsenal, to mention a few.

    You can’t just show them the badge and insist they lose.

  282. The centre mid area worries me to. We have 3 good players, but that’s it. Past Mcginn, grealish and Luiz we have no quality or depth

    We need another quality DM and CAM. Eze and Billing

    We can’t have another seas where Hourihane is the man of the bench or starting if Grealish or mcginn are injured or wide

  283. Frem you have been closely following the club long enough to know this is the best place this club has been in a very long time … think back to the previous managers and owners
    Smith has been wit us less that 2 years like the owners and its difficult to deny how far they have taken us from where we were in that short space of time .

    I get what you say about improving the squad but we need to be realistic you cant build a super squad in a couple of season partly due to FFP but also because you have to earn the right to attract the very best players and that starts with working your way into Europe

  284. I guess team construction is like putting together a jigsaw puzzle. If a piece doesn’t fit we need to find a piece that does. The pieces that don’t fit for me are an absolute enforcer in midfield, a new striker and a flying winger in that order. If we can find them young, then exciting times ahead methinks.

    Playing 4-3-3 is attacking and great to watch but you need the players to do it. Deano tried it with players that were not ready for it at this level. Once he changed tack and set them up more compact we started picking up a few results. Hopefully the lesson has been taken on board.

  285. The bookies don’t think so. They have us as favourites to drop along with Fulham and the yam yams. Maybe Leeds won’t be so great either. Surely we’ll pass Palace, Newcastle, Burnley and others on the way up the table.

    Always assuming we keep Jack and he stays fit.

  286. I don’t think Billing is very good. Not as good as Nakamba.

    DS said today to expect signings (if u can believe the papers). Let’s hope we can get 2-3 before Friday and Jack makes English squad.

  287. Chill out Frem.

    You are becoming extremely boring with your constant criticisms and your negativity is tedious. Your berating of the owners is unwarranted, short-sighted and pathetic.

    Let’s show some respect and appreciation for the owners of this football club. They saved us from bankruptcy – they have invested to protect our balance sheet and spent £140M last year. And they are making funds available for extensive players investment this summers. I don’t know the exact figure but Mr Nassef and Mr Edens have invested approx £300m in this football club so far. And they have been constrained by FFP.
    I salute you, Mr Nassef and Mr Edens – thank you.

    Let’s support the owners, the management team and the players for their efforts in keeping us in this division.

    We are competing in the most competitive league in the world. Against teams who also have wealthy owners. And we will have to convince players to join us after finishing 17th.

    We have been promised quality signings and they will arrive.

    So before you start moaning about wingers, Frem, as Stormzy would say – Shut Up

  288. Southampton beating us in the race for McKennie. Shock

    No doubt we are refusing to pay tye money, like last summer, or we simply can’t convince him

    It’s going well

    We won’t be getting number 1 targets. We refused to pay whst Brentford wanted Benrama last summer. Seems similar now

  289. Richard. No problem with the owners. It’s other people who arw the issue

    Purslow for example, apparently gets involved with things he shouldn’t

    Ian. I’m a patient person. But even the most patient of people must even think we have done bad not to get anyone yet.

    Sammata Ghazi and trez are starting first game at this rate

  290. Frem
    Sorry mate I definitely wouldn’t call you patient, if you think you’re being patient you’re trying to rewrite facts.
    You’ve only got to look back on the posts on this page, let alone the others.
    There are some things more important than the Villa, & one is our mental health.

  291. Well, Jack’s not in the England squad.
    I think Southgate is actively trying to pressure Jack to leave the Villa, which is out of order & has consequences.

  292. Southgate obviously has a team of world beaters. We have an embarrassment of riches and will win everything in front of us.

    Jack’s omission is scandalous. If he was a Spurs/Chelsea/Arsenal player he’d have been selected years ago. Yet he’s chosen Phillips from Leeds who’s never played in the EPL. Different positional player to Jack of course, but I’m truly shocked.

  293. Be interesting to see how Jack reacts…He either digs down and says fuck you, I’ll show you, or he bows to the pressure and says I apparently need to have better players around me to show my quality. Given the kid’s mentality, I wouldn’t be surprised by the former. But.

  294. Yes its sad for Jack, I think there was some friction when Southgate was at Villa involving a statement about Gareths nose, if there wasn’t there should of been.

    Certainly seems Jack has to jump through more hoops than a collie.

    Frem- Your Patient? are you sure you don’t mean a Patient? 🙂

  295. Utter scandal, Jack not being selected

    It must be personal.

    Look at Jack’s stats from last year – chances created.

    Phillips and Winks ahead of Jack – WTF

    I will not be watching England.

  296. Southgate may feel that Jack is a great player, but does he actually fit England’s style of play, because Jack tends to slow down the quick breaks, and never plays one/two touch football. England is all about quick breaks, and moving the ball on. That is not really jack’s style, he tends to hold the ball more, and dribble with it.
    I am sure he is in Gareth’s thoughts, but he will want to see Jack move the ball more quickly, and apply himself more in the danger areas around the box.
    Mings has his place, which he has earned, because of his abilities, demonstrated playing at Villa, and fitting England’s style.
    It is all about horses for courses, and not just ability.

  297. I agree with Paul P .I also think Jack will remain a villa player this season for just those reasons. He reminds me of Le Tissier at Southampton, ridiculously talented but not a fit for most teams.

  298. Ironically, it might have been better for Jack had he chosen to play for the republic instead of England. The team would have been built around him , similar to villa now.

  299. Liked Smiths interview on the villa site.Seems like he is willing to listen & learn and has a very calm and logical outlook. I hope it works out for him.

  300. Prox

    Very lucky to have Deano, I love him. I’m anxious about this transfer window as I want him to succeed so much. He is one of us and a very bright, thoughtful bloke. Never wants to stop learning and being questioned

  301. I had a lot of hope for Southgate when he took over. Talked about youth and playing players in form etc but has slowly reverted to top. Favours the big clubs and is conservative footy. The state of that cm. To not take jack even has a wild type card for the squad is an utter disgrce

  302. Yep H&V , same as that.

    I suspect he’s not anxious though . He’ll get on with whatever he has to do , under whatever circumstances. He’s pulled off two miracles in two years , he could be the Brummie Jesus!

  303. Eze to Palace for 16 million

    Exactly what we need for our squad to cover/ rotate mcginn and grealish. He’s quick. Mobile. Ability

    But we seem happy with Hourihane slow as anything

    Fulham in talks with Watkins and Also want willson. 2 strikers we should be all over. We don’t have a good striker at the club

    We need a quick left. I don’t want Taylor or targett defending against any prem winger. Especially one with a it if pace. They can’t keep up with play. Getting forward or tracking back

  304. Sorry H and V didn’t realise you said that.

    Yes it’s worrying why we haven’t gone and signed Eze. Do we not want a good squad? What happens if Mcginn or Jack get injured again? We rely on hourihane? Who simply hasn’t got the pace or mobility for this level

    I don’t trust people at this club to build a squad. Smith doesn’t seem tk want to have a good squad. Just 11 and after that, nothing

  305. Why would we sit there and let eze go for 15 million

    We need more pace. We need more quality. We need better options than Hourihane. We need more than just mcginn and grealish.

    Eze is all we need. And nothing. We just sit there

  306. Compass have been brilliant for us. PP says we’ve got to relax and signings will be in by Friday. Time is ticking. We’ve got Sheffield U and Fulham coming up. This chinavirus business has left every club short of cash but some teams are still very busy in the market place just the same. I’m desperate for a big midfield enforcer and can’t relax until one arrives.

  307. I agree with PP on the reasons why Southgate may not be picking him to some extent. What I don’t get is why doesn’t he just take Jack along and see if that bears out? This tournament is in place of meaningless friendlies, when better to try the lad? Certainly we play enough teams that sit back because we have pace up top, Jack could be a massive source of free kicks etc even pens.

    The other cracker is he has included stirling who’s team is not due to start the season because they are still on hols, blokes probably half fit and still pissed.

    Apparently Gareth told a reporter to not ask about Jack, spent the whole time defending Maguire who was then found guilty of all three charges and gets a suspended sentence.

  308. Prox- You made my day, The republic have trouble scraping together a side let alone cherry picking players specifically around Jack 🙂

    Spot on with DS, he’s honest and a thinker, and really only been in management for 10 years.

    Very much enjoying the meltdown because Watkins is talking to Fulham considering lots of fans didn’t want him.

  309. Palace spending 15 million on Jean-Philippe Mateta also. Very decent striker.

    Palace spending 30 million on a couple of good players.

    And at Villa

    Scouting more Trezeguet and Wesleys are we?

  310. That’s ok Frem. Shame as really like Eze. According to Twitter world he was after mental wages. But we are after a number 8 type so watch this space!

    Palace spending the zaha money I reckon

  311. Gareth has confirmed my thoughts in that the role he sees Jack in, is as a no10, which at present is occupied by Sterling and Rashford, while Mason Greenwood is the up and coming youngster, who is on fire at United. The drawback with Jack is that a lot of the time he is playing a mid field role, whereas Southgate does not see as that type of player.
    Eze to Crystal Palace is a good move for both, as Saha is probably off to pastures new, and we are not offering the same.

  312. Maguire has now been dropped apparently, little bit of sauce on the chin for Southgate.

    Frem- I hope we sign some really shit players, anyone can win with nailed on 100% geniuses.

  313. Mark,
    We’re limited in players ok but we’re pretty successful at set pieces and what’s Jack good at ….??

    Oh and by the way , your lot have’nt managed to beat us in 7 games since ‘85 .

    Lost 2 and drew 5 if my memory serves me.

  314. Prox – yeah back in the day , haven’t played in 6 years lots has changed in our fortunes and set up since then 🙂

    As for jack wanting to get kicked more on purpose? Mmm

  315. Frem

    Gutted about mckennie, but we can’t compete with juve.

    And that sums our window up at the min. We have money to burn and want top players but they don’t want to come. Arrrgggggghhhhhhh

  316. Failed to Bristol City in 120 minutes of football today In a friendly

    Probably had Trez and Ghazi wide, Taylor left back. Hourihane cm

    No wonder

  317. Villa Drew with Bristol city in a friendly today, Samatta got the goal.

    “A fan in attendance said we need 4 wingers two strikers three midfielders and 4 defenders and a partridge in a pear tree, oh and sack Smith”

    Where were you today Frem?

  318. Aaah frem, the disrespect to some of our players is a disgrace man.

    Super Conor hourihan has worked his knackers for us from the champ to prem safety and has played a key role including this season. Is a leader off the pitch, one of our best trainers too. Without trez goals we would be done. Need to chill a bit man it’s not a good look.

  319. It’s not really a surprise things aren’t as quick as we’d like. Called it when Suso was here and people wanted him gone. To rip the transfer process up and get a new chap in when we need a quickish turn around always a bit risky.

  320. Jed Steer in goal today, happy days.

    Don’t care about McKennie – how many folks have seen him play full games? He he doesn’t want to come, it’s his choice.

    Will be disappointed if we don’t get the Brentford duo though.

  321. VillaMD- We played two 1/2’s of 60 mins two different sides, lost the 1st 1-0 won the second 1-0, Jack played in the second half.

    I would be surprised if the targets change a great deal, we are looking at players that will fit in quick so likely in a league over here rather than abroad, unless its Germany because of the similarity’s in play. Lange will likely run the rule over the choices and pick out any glaring problems that have been missed.

  322. H&V
    Don’t forget we know nothing for real, & if last year is anything to go by we won’t until the club lets on. The so called football media is basically a soap opera making shit up as they go.
    What’s the point in buying into the nonsense, except for humour?

  323. A fan in attendance said we need 4 wingers two strikers three midfielders and 4 defenders and a partridge in a pear tree, oh and sack Smith

    Who ever said that knows what he’s on about

  324. On Southgate

    I have had the feeling from him that he doesn’t particularly like Villa or Jack
    When he left us to join Boro as a better option and after that point I detected much warmth when he has been interviewed about the club and Jack was on the bench a heck of a lot while Gareth was manager of the under 21’s
    Saying all that PP’s thoughts on the matter are just as feasible

  325. MK,

    yeah, saw it was 2 teams with 60 mins each. I was just glad to look at pics and see Steer. My point being, with Steer being able to play 60 mins and Nyland the other, we do not need a goalie during Heaton’s absence.

    With all of the multiple layers of coaches, scouts, data scientists, directors… and owners who have taken clubs from average to winners in the past….I for one am happy to blindly believe we’ll get quality in.

    Frem buddy, I’m glad I don’t have ur stress levels but love ur comments. Keep up the passion, but also stay healthy

  326. Celtic out of CL to Hungarian side. That puts Scottish football into perspective and Edouard (although injured and didn’t play). Don’t think many Hungarian teams would survive in EPL.

    Paying 30M for Edouard is a lottery. I much prefer Championship players and low cost imports from

    Based on reports we’re interested in Eze and the WBA loanee. Who’s better? I’ve no idea as I’ve never watched either play 90mins

  327. Frem- 🙂

    On another note If you read the article about Eden its not hard to see why we have Dean Smith and Lange etc. Edens is very data driven and likes a gamble backed by the info. Obviously Brentford are the best at finding low cost players in England and turning a big profit and so were Copenhagen. Dean Smith isn’t here because he is a fan although it helps, and listening to Shakespeare talking about sleeping in his dads car outside Highbury waiting to hear Ipswichs result shows where his heart is, good to have some Brummies in the club that know about the clubs tradition.

  328. Frem- Chelsea had a two window ban so have spent nothing last season thats why they are able to splash the cash. Probably had the deals lined up since last year.

  329. So apparently we pulled out a deal that was done because it got leaked to the press. Bit of a joke.

    And now apparently we are pulling out the Watkins deal because we think it’s becoming an auction. That’s what a transfer window is Villa

    Not sure what the hell we are doing tbh

    And I think to wrap it all up Man U will get grealish. Been in contact this week about him

    It’s going about as well as the season went

  330. Yes Frem, just 3 weeks to our first game and the silence from AVFC is deafening. It’s all well and good having Lange with his book of stats, but signings need to be able to produce those stats in the EPL.

  331. The good thing for me is that the press are having to make up ridiculous stories as they have no idea what villa are actually working on .. very poor lazy journalism just like the last two windows

  332. When does the time come when we have to force the issue a bit and pay up the top dollar. Haggling a bit over price when the prem tv money of staying in the league is a must. If we are haggling that is! Does seem quite at the min and we are being frustrated

  333. Frem

    How are you comparing us to Chelsea!!!

    Speaking to a lad at work about transfer issues and he was right in saying we need a season mid table, more positivity from the media etc then the following summer we’d be a more attractive club to join. Right now your really decent players are out of our reach

  334. Plug- Stats are used to find out if the player is likely to produce in the EPL. Its a bit more nuanced than he’s got the best numbers.

    Eduardo for instance scores a lot of goals that are not expected rather than score lots that are. XG or expected goals is just one of the metrics. It could mean that Eduardo’s style in the jock league is beat poor defences himself and score rather than get on the end of crosses and passes, or he shoots a lot from all over the place like Rachida and misses a lot.

    Could mean against better defenders Eduardo might struggle to score those unexpected goals. Lange is one of the best at reading stats and understands them at a deeper level than many in the game.

  335. 6 million bid for swift apparently from reading

    That’s what we’ve waiting for. 6 million. For John Swift. From Reading.


  336. Thought we were going to make some statements this summer

    We are really struggling to attract players and just don’t like to spend more than we want to

  337. Good thing is Swift can play grealish or mcginn role. At least we won’t have to play hourihane. At least swift can run

    Apparently lcfc want Targett. Sell sell sell. 20 million and go but two left backa

  338. Apparently Targett wants his 45 grand a week raised if he’s to stay

    He can fuck right off. Earn it first. Bottle job

    Sell him. Slow as hourihane

  339. I think I’m going to stop reading rumors for a week. Jack to Man U for Dalot and Romero is really poor press. If you’re making up that story at least include Tuanzebe.

    Hopefully we can keep Jack. That’s our most important signing,

    Frem – I think Hourihane is ok as a squad player. I love when he takes a set piece ball, more than any Villa player that I can remember for years and years ….

  340. Lasana Koita (Odsonne Edouard agent): “I heard of the interest from Aston Villa, I read it in the newspaper, and I think it’s true. But we have not had any contact with Aston Villa right now.” [daily record

    What are we doing?
    Have we even got money

    That’s a some and get me plea and we haven’t even made contact

    Palace sign Eze

    And at Villa…..

  341. Frem- I noticed this from you

    “We are really struggling to attract players and just don’t like to spend more than we want to”

    Then this

    “Apparently Targett wants his 45 grand a week raised if he’s to stay
    He can f**k right off. Earn it first. Bottle job”

    Are your sure its the owners who don’t want to spend? 🙂

  342. What has targett ever bottled?! He is a fine young English left back and is only going to get better. Absolute madness to want to sell him. Will never move forward and build a good team

  343. Hahaha

    You couldn’t make it up

    We’ve bit 10 million for Cash which has been rejected. Teams have bid 12 million before and rejected but we thought we’d be ok to bid 10

    We don’t even need a right back We need a left back. Probably 2. But yet we bid 10 million for a bang average championship player!!

    Is that whag we are doing? The dizzy heights of championship players?

    So many better championship players than Matty Cash anyway and we will probably get hkm for 15 million

    We need wingers. And strikers

    And shock Trippier was our fist choice but you’ll be surprised we didn’t get out first choice target

    Also Rashica, they want 20 million euros plus add ons

    Obviously as usual, we will refuse to pay jt and get some shit guy from Egypt for cheaper

  344. Yep Cash will be our first signing

    A right back. The one position we don’t need out of all positions joke. 15 million as well


    Spend jt on a left back. Winger. Something

  345. Percy saying Watkins as well

    Two championship players


    Thought we wanted prem experience and quality?

    It’s going to be another long season because of recruitment