Transfer talk never completely goes away, but of course it’s now ramping up to the annual summer frenzy. For Villa, we’re hearing a couple different things about needs, spend, and a ‘precise’ plan. So let’s dive in a little, and also try to get in Compass’s head(s).

Here’s what we all know: Compass want Europe and top four; they want to develop youth; they want to develop ancillary revenue streams; they don’t want to pay big-name money for the sake of big names. They want results.

What does that mean in actuality? For one, letting decent but aging players like Elmo and Taylor go. It’s the natural end for both at Villa. Likewise, we all knew Heaton would want to try his luck elsewhere. Good luck to them all, and the very best of wishes. They’ve been great for the club.

But while Elmo, Taylor, and Heaton don’t fit the plan anymore, big sides don’t sell their best players unless the price is irresistible and there are either replacements in the set-up or players identified that offer roughly the same ability for less money. Of course, you have to factor in whether players are happy or not…always a wild card.

Second, big sides are ruthless about upgrading. If you have a centerpiece like Jack, one of the best players in the world, you keep him and complement him. You don’t start over. As I’ve mentioned before, look to how Edens runs his basketball team. Gianni Antetokounmpo, a two-time NBA MVP, signed a five-year, $228m contract in December to stay at Milwaukee amid fierce interest around the league. It’s the largest deal in league history. Edens doesn’t let his best players go easily, and Villa don’t want to be forging a new identity just yet.

For me, that says that unless Jack asks to leave, he isn’t going anywhere this summer. But Compass will have no qualms about finding a step up on any player in the squad going forward. Based on the current assumption that the back five are largely sorted, all the talk about midfield and attack is squarely on the money. And no one is ‘safe’. As time goes on, greater depth of quality in the squad will allow Villa to sell and replace.

Five-Year Plan
If there is indeed a true “masterplan,” Villa are entering Year Three. The goal at the end of this season is to have caught up to, or surpassed, most of Spurs, Arsenal, Leicester, West Ham, Everton and let’s say Leeds: 5th–7th, European football. Years Four and Five are about staying there, handling the extra European games, and knocking off Liverpool or United.

So, what gets you past those six teams? Better starting quality, more depth, and greater consistency. Following this year, you’ll have another round of improvements, squad-building, and probably sales of players who find themselves on the outside looking in.

Had Jack stayed fit, we might have gotten there this year. So plans can change. But we’ve seen what happens when you hit a goal ahead of ‘schedule’.

So when I look at Villa’s squad, I imagine that in a couple years all the current starters beyond the back line, along with Jack and Ollie, could be on the bench or sold. Ideally, moving to the bench first since we know they can play well enough to win games—when Jack’s on the pitch. They’re integrated and are known quantities. Yes, Villa will be looking to bring through Chuk, Jaden and Louie, for example, but they’re still 1-3 years away. Chuk may have an influence as the upcoming season wears on, and with Barry, it sounds like it’s just a matter of getting more toward a man’s body.

For me, all of this means the spend on any given player is about the quantity of need identified. Not rocket surgery. We saw specific business last summer, and the squad improved greatly. Another 2-4 players could put Villa over the top. Or  maybe just keep us in with a shout of reaching Year Three goals.

So, I don’t think a player like Buendia at £40m is off the table, and Norwich admit he can be prised away. It’s more a question of how many Villa think they need. How many eggs in one basket, basically. Do three players for £100m get you over the next line? Talk of Dwight McNeil is gathering steam, but will we drop a purported £50m?

We also keep hearing about Tammy, which may well just be lazy. The question is whether Villa are going to fork over significant money for a central striker who’ll want to start. Maybe if they move Ollie wide, and knock out one of the other needs. We know Tammy fits because he will press and run endlessly like Ollie. And a three like Jack, Buendia, and Ollie around him would offer a lot to free him up. Goals and chances all over the place. But there’s no way Smith buys into a 4-4-2, and you’re not buying Tammy for backup or ‘competition’. Rumors linking Wes to a PSV loan, they make sense.

That leaves me thinking that if moving Ollie is not on the table, Villa will be looking for value here, and a very particular kind of forward. Davis I’d expect to be loaned or sold. Decent player, doesn’t fit the system.

Anyway. All a very long way of saying that I don’t think individual price tags are going to put us off, it’s just about how many real “needs” the staff identified. Might not be the exact players we’re hearing about, but the talk is centered around the positions and levels Villa clearly require.

Compass have the money, and are probably as well situated to spend it as anyone besides City and Chelsea. They have their eyes on a prize and a timeline. And so far, Villa seem to be looking for exactly what we’d expect: creativity, quality on the ball, work rate, versatility, and the right ages. As well as enough to keep Jack believing, reduce the burden, and lay the groundwork if his departure is inevitable in a year or two.

Fingers crossed the team do as well this summer as last.

Over to you.

Comments 192

  1. A good overview of our owners with like you mentioned have a track record of keeping there best players
    After what us villa fans have been through I guess I can understand why so many fans can’t believe that these owners will make villa one of the top European sides in due course and that no one is capable of getting Jack out of the club … why would he want to go when the owners of his club are showing him clearly were they are taking the club

    Wesley’s fait will come down to whether the club feels there is a lot more to come from him or if they can get much better in

    Davies seems to be developing but due to his injuries hasn’t had any type of run in the team yet

    Hopefully we buy 2 0r 3 very good players and use the bench and youngsters to try and go on a cup run

    excited for next season and to see who we being in

  2. JC,

    You write great articles. That was a super enjoyable read. I agree with your perspective. I would add:

    Wesley on loan to Holland for a year is a great shout. Step up from Belgium league.

    I think Carney will play a big part next year. I see him starting 10+ games.

    Louie I see more for cups

    How good is Kessler? He has to get a chance and possibly push Cash forward as a winner

    On signing:

    If we can get Buendia for £50m and he’s our only signing I’ll be happy. Cannot believe Norwich said they’re open to offers

  3. I’d also take Zaha at £40m. He’s 29, so old, but should be great for 3 years. Guaranteed talent vs risking paying for overseas players.

    I also think Sanson will be a great bit player.

    I’d sell Luiz. Nakamba is a far superior DM

  4. Good Morning John,a concise overview of how our owners probably see this years market.Personally I hope and believe we will move away from signings for the future,we have enough starlets of our own.My preference and belief is that we will go for “oven ready ” performers,who have been there and done it.Zaha (Runtingz you stole my thunder),Giroud(not him,just an example)and Jonny Evans(another example only).Players who step in and step up right away,no bedding in process.On the opening day we should see a strong bench,giving D.S. game changers to choose from,not just a body to throw on,changing average for average,no disrespect intended.All the best fellas.

  5. Thanks JC,
    I think its a change in mindset needed by the Fans, the plan is real and the owners ambition and know how tempered with patients is admirable.

    Last season we brought in Cash for fan favourite Fred who was promptly loaned out, that was a brave and brutal move by Smith. If Wesley had not got injured would he have suffered the same or remained the no1 with no Ollie? hard to tell as he had just began to improve.

    I think Ollie has been a Smith target all along but with no real evidence at no9 a hard sell for the fee mentioned. Now if you want a like for like player its not Louie Barry who at present plays in Jacks LW berth. I think Brad Young is the closest we have and is very good in his own right, has great energy and is aggressive. We still have Vassilev who went out on loan, will he step up? he is likely stronger than Young but from the little I have seen less of a goal threat.

    So the way I see it is we need a player if ollie gets injured and we need someone for a change of pace like Toney, is he gettable if they don’t come up . The other option is Adam Armstrong of Blackburn Rovers with 30 goals and 5 assists in a mid table side.

    We know we are looking for a creator should Jack get injured that is the big money position for me Buendia is the obvious choice.

    Having said all that Smith has surprised us, nobody thought RB was a priority over left last season.

  6. Looking at the bigger picture. Looking at the greedy ones. The Arse, Spurs and ManUre are heavily in debt. Heavily. Team building for these is not going to be straightforward and can be got at.

    The Bindippers have just bought Konate from Leipzip for a reported £36 million which reveals the state of their piggy bank and the level they must shop at. It also reveals that hiring from Europe remains commonplace despite us leaving the EU.

    That leaves the two Champions League finalists as the wealthy ones. And even then, Pep said recently they couldn’t afford a player (forget who he was talking about). These two have been wrapping up the FA Youth Cup between for the last 10 years. Until we muscled in.

    With 4 places up for grabs in the Champions League, I believe a team like Villa can muscle in on that also, causing further distress to the greedy ones in the process. Let’s do it.

  7. MK,

    Armstrong is a good shout. Realistically we may sell Hourihane, El Ghazi, Guilbert and either Luiz or Nakamba. If I was Nakamba I’d ask for more game time or leave. He’s too good to only start a handful of EPL games.

    Tammy could also be interesting. I think Ollie, Tammy and Jack would be a handful.

    On Villa players, I’d like to mention Hause. What an amazing player. He seems to get better every game. I’m not a huge Mings fan, but I’ve a feeling he makes the partner CB better

  8. Congratulations to Thomas Frank and Brentford for winning the play-off final, and welcome to the Premier league.
    Congratulations to Chelsea and Thomas Tuchel for winning the Champions League Final with a really gritty performance.

    Results that will have an interesting effect on the transfer market now.

  9. Hate Chelsea…City just seem to exist. Still, fair play on the defense and organization.

    Not sure what Pep was thinking with his lineup. Tuchel got in his head, I think.

    Imagine the lads will be thinking, “Hang on, we just beat the champions of Europe in a game they wanted to win.” Can’t hurt confidence over the summer.

  10. And I’m going to go ahead and say I think Jack’s a better all-round player than KDB. Might sound like heresy, but Grealish brings more to the table.

    In defense of that, if you’re basically running neck and neck on key stats yet doing it at Villa rather than City…?

    Didn’t think City really need Jack, but maybe they do to take over from KDB.

  11. City definitely need Jack, as he is better than De Brune and Sterling, and he would have made the difference last night, which is why Pep is so determined to get his man.

    It will be an interesting time over the next few weeks now, with all the big events settled, and the Euros to come.

    I forgot to say another excellent piece JC, and I wish that I could see the confidence in Dean and the team winning the Premiership within the next two years, but I think that is not going to happen, which is why I think we will lose Jack.
    I am sure that in maybe 4/5 years we will be in that position, and Villa will have a very different looking team, with a few more trophies in the cabinet!!

  12. A list of just a few of legendary players sold on by Aston Villa:
    Danny Blanchflower, Gerry Hitchens, Tony Hateley, Andy Gray, David Platt, George Graham, Gareth Barry, James Milner, Gary Cahill, John Gidman, and many more.
    Maybe, just once, Villa will manage to retain their talisman, but it will be the first time ever in my lifetime, with the exception of Gabby, who had too many kids to leave behind!

  13. I think if Villa had made the European places this season, Jack would have definitely stayed, but as we did not, I think it is very doubtful.

  14. Fair play to Touchel. It’s nice watching a final when you don’t care who wins. Also glad Brentford made it.

    I can’t see Jack leaving. He knows something big is happening at Villa Park so why leave? Man City will sign Kane so that’s their budget gone.

  15. VillaMD, I can’t see Dougie leaving either. Whenever I’ve heard Pep talking about him, his words always seem neutral on the subject.

  16. Plug,

    If Man C want to pay £27.5m for Douglas I’d gladly let him leave. Nakamba is better defensively. That would help us a lot with FFP and signing Buendia

  17. Mark, you are our resident Statto!!

    Surely it’s not the timing of the subs that defines a coach but the inherent tactical changes that could, for instance, occur at half time or even in the first half without any change of personnel.

  18. In-game tactics, yes, squarely on the manager. But I think most of it really gets done in the prep, and then if you see real changes, it’s either because someone isn’t performing as expected, or the other team is doing something you can’t stop. But that points as much to poor prep or just getting surprised.

    You see our guys doing different things, I think Smith likes it to be fluid, rather than reorganizing chess pieces.

  19. I guess what I’m saying is you see managers yelling things, but I think that’s mainly along the lines of “Pull your head out, get back, get up,” and then the bits like, “Keep working that channel, try getting around behind, or do that overlap we discussed.” That kind of thing. Less inventing than reminding, exhorting, etc.

  20. Plug- but subs have been a regular moan about Smith especially leaving them late yet the truth is he leaves them no later than most, there are outliers but generally he is not doing anything abnormal. As for who he has to change things that’s a different talk, all together. I continually see fans blasting there manager while ignoring similar stuff in other managers and bigging them up. Dyche was considered a good manager for Villa by many and yet he uses even less and latter subs than Smith.

  21. Interesting how Kane is raving about Jack and saying they’re on the same wavelength. It’s one way to tell Southgate that Jack is better than Mount. I hate to say it, but I think Ollie needs a rest and would be better if he doesn’t make it. I think the world be a bit shocked at how great Jack is. Most talented England player since Gascoigne

  22. Interesting team selections VillaMD. Maguire, Stones and Sterling wouldn’t be in my England 11.

    On the Villa line up, I wonder if Chuk could become our missing piece of the jigsaw in the middle. Maybe the season after next but if next season, I’d be delighted to be wrong.

  23. I see Joan Laporte, the new president of Barca has been opening his mouth to the media. He says “we are more than 1 billion Euros in debt. We are not a state. We cannot just pick up the phone and say send us more money”. Well get the fuckin’ violins out. Neither can 99.9% of the other clubs.

    He goes on “I am not saying big clubs are not partially responsible but a lot of parties are at fault”. Excuse me. You blame others? You bastards impose FFP on all other clubs to make sure they remain solvent (but really to prevent them challenging your Empire) whilst running up more than 1 billion fuckin’ Euros in debt.

    As their heads sink further into the shit, they want all other clubs to accept ensuring they themselves stay skint whilst the greedy bastards attempt to rectify the result of years of having their noses in the trough, with an idea that is doomed and certain to collapse the sport. J K Rowling couldn’t make this up.

    It’s time Uefa took appropriate action to address the affrontery dished out to all decent footie fans. Bans need to be handed out.

  24. nice right up

    yep a very interesting summer. cant wait. need those different types of wingers who can hold the ball and win it back allowing us to not just rely on open spaces to run in and in turn gets us to control the game and keep the bloody ball. then are record of throwing away the most points from winning positions will get better. that’s how we improve and gain more points. the number 1 issue to fix if we are to improve.

  25. theres just so much thay could do. Watkins lw jack number 10? we will only know this when they sign somone! for me a proper dm with height and physicality (berge) is a must then your different type of forwards. buendia and mcneil would be super

  26. mark

    in the end it was obv Freddie was off. kept dropping him and most fans saw fred as just ok. very rash in def. was just liked as he did sliding tackles! hell be ok as back up

  27. timing of the subs isn’t a concern for me. whats annoying his deanos reluctance to change tactis and formation. we was in relegation form for 3 or 4 months and nothing was changed. when it was crying out for ollie lw and davis st. low and behold when he gave davis a go from the bench we looked better and got results! was very harsh that.

  28. well that’s cleared up a bit of transfer gossip. jack not for sale at all this summer. Buendia top target. rest of the signings will be unknowns from Europe prob French league with mackienze on it for some bargains. wont be spending over 100mill.

    surprised we haven’t gone big to catch up.

  29. Beaky has made a huge mistake leaving Ollie out of the final squad. Henderson? Maguire? These guys are not fit. Three keepers? When you can replace one of them during the tournament? Rashford and Sterling? So out of form.

    Oh boy. If he plays his recent “pass the ball along the back lads and keep possession” we will be home after 3 games.

  30. Four RB’s in Beaky’s Euro squad. WTF. He says we are not taking tourists. Well I can see 3 at RB. This ain’t going to be pretty.

  31. H&V, we had a few bad turnarounds in games towards the end of the season but it’d be wrong to assume that we have an ingrained problem of being unable to hold onto a lead. Up to the beginning of April, no team had surrendered ‘fewer’ points from leading positions (just 5 points) than us. Brighton on the other hand had surrendered 20. It was a real virtue which we then lost . . . . It’d be good to know just what changed as it had seemed until then that we’d gained that inner steel which had been missing for so many seasons.

  32. robbo we have the worst record in the whole 4 leagues at throwing away points from winning positions!


    eng always do it, pick injured players and it all goes wrong. never learn. with 4 rbs it will be 3 at the back I reckon with walker 3rd cb

  33. r0bb0,

    Agreed. This is a stat that requires context, and in this case, given how we’d basically won every game in which we scored first up to a certain point (I forget, but it was a big number, like 10 of 11), what changed was covid, congestion and losing Jack.

    Same story, I know people get tired of hearing it (excuses!), but that was the season’s context.

    It’s hard to hold leads when a team is fatigued (and also thin), and without the outlet and more constant threat Jack provides, it was easier for teams to attack without much answer or consequence, basically.

  34. I also think the “winning position” stat is a bit silly/lazy without context, like when you take the lead in say the first 10-20mins, or even earlier. Yeah, you’ve scored first, but that leaves a lot of time, regardless of opposition, and then you throw the above context into it.

    So, sure, it’s something a team wants to do, take a lead, draw opponents out and then take advantage of that. And sure, you’d like to win most every game in which you score first. And certainly Smith & Co would’ve like to have kept those points and will be disappointed we couldn’t build on those leads. But they also understand the context.

    The flip side is how many times do you fail to ever achieve a “winning position,” aka “lead”?

    If nothing else, the stat in Villa’s case can also point to success in how many times we scored first. I’d be curious where Villa ranked there.

  35. I don’t really know why we chuck away points but the point is that’s the main bit to improve on and gain more points. I think its down to not being able to control the game, keep the ball.

  36. I think the reason why we began surrendering points was the midfield (and others) not up to their best and lack of creativity. The attempt to turn draws into wins but without the energy and means to do so. As the season crept on players like Mcginn came around/recovered just as Newcastle did and we got the hang of playing without Jack and then obviously he returned by which time the team had improved.

  37. Absolutely right MK.

    Latest news is that Ollie, Jesse Lingard and James Ward-Prowse have been invited by Gareth to remain with the squad and be involved, and all three have jumped at the opportunity. Very astute move by Gareth, which means he has a 29 squad basically, where if players drop out through injury, covid , etc. he has immediate replacements who are already in the team bubble!!

    John McGinn is staying home, along with six others to avoid covid tests, etc, because of Fleck, and will join the team when they return.

  38. Good to see all three of our England players earn another cap for their country, even if it was a “friendly”. Don’t think Jack thought it was very friendly, but good to see him show some nice moves and have the pundits cheering him on. Mings had a good game too.
    Disappointed with Ollie, as I felt he should have made the effort to meet a great cross into the box, and at the end he should have continued and made the shot rather than passing, both were great opportunities to show what he is made of. He could then also have got himself included in the squad, if Trent doesn’t make it.
    He should put himself forward as a utility player, as he has played every position on the pitch for Exeter!!

  39. Nice to know that Ollie is still making money for Exeter City, as well as Brentford. His appearance for England netted them a nice little sum tonight of £75,000 . 15% of his fee as a sub tonight.

  40. interesting to see how many people are not in support of the players in there stance against racism and discrimination … there was a fare amount of boo boys … not suppressed by it as its just a refection of society as a whole

    Well done the lads , Jack will be the most famous player by the end of the euros .. mings had 2 great last games for villa and has carried that form into England

  41. I didn’t think much of England last night. Some strange selections and a few square pegs in round holes. By comparison, Austria looked quite tidy and comfortable on the ball but lacked a cutting edge, even if they were a team of shit housers.

    In my view, Beaky is wasting his opportunity to hone a slick moving team by picking random players. When the tourney starts in anger, we will be undercooked. He has selected Jack who will get great free kick positions around the box. Ward Prowse is the best free kick expert in such positions but he’s not picked. Instead, we have 3 keepers, a crocked centre back and a hobbling captain.

    Thought Tyro played well but he was lucky to avoid a sending off. Like the ref, I didn’t see it at the time, but the media have picked it up today. He decked their 6 foot 15 centre forward in the box, off the ball, quite deliberately. I imagine Tyro had taken some verbal abuse and took retribution.

  42. Plug,

    Southgate could not use any players from the European Cup Final. They had to be given a break.
    He used the players he needed to give game time to, including Jack and Saka, and needed to see how MIngs would perform with a new centre back, if McGuire doesn’t make it.
    Under the circumstances England did well against a very physical Austrian side.

  43. PP,

    Yep, I pretty much agree with you on the resting of Champions League Final players. But he’s also selected Maguire, Phillips and Henderson, none of whom are fit and the real games start next weekend. He may be unlucky with TAA but that might prove a good thing.

  44. I’ve always thought retribution was “legitimate” in some instances. I think you’re right Plug, he’d had enough. Just don’t do it in the box. Mings is someone to be reckoned with. Don’t mess around with him.

  45. Yeah, stupid in the box, but otherwise a fantastic takedown by Mings. There was definitely something he was responding to.

    (I’ve been watching playoff hockey, this was just another day at the office.)

  46. According to that well respected and font of all knowledge (The Sun), both us and The Arse have put in bids for Buendia. The individual may have his preferences, but it will come down to Kroenke v Compass.

    As I see it, it’s a no brainer for the lad. Tell him so Emi.

  47. The Express and Star (a much more accurate report) in Wolverhampton says Pep will not be triggering Dougie’s release clause. A simple deduction really, he’s trying to scrape the dregs out of the bottom of the oil barrel for ‘Arry.

  48. I wonder if Michael Olise is still much in Dean Smith’s mind, an attacking mid-fielder with a great left foot, scoring 7 goals this season, with 12 assists, only 19years old and with a market value of £11million, and is regarded as a potential Paul Merson, so seems like he could be a very wise buy.

    Still talk of getting Rashica for £14million, but is he the real deal?

    Ruben Loftus-Cheek, Emile Smith-Rowe, Dwight McNeil and Tammy Abraham still among the pundits favourite targets.

    It is going to be a long week before we really know who Dean really wants in his squad next season!

  49. paul

    read the mantra for signings must be prem ready to hit the ground running. theres no way we are spending money on tammy. buendia and mcneil have to be top targets youd imagine. hopefully berge as well. the big tall number 6 will add to us so much. those 3 would be superb business.

    Never going to get smih rowe. with chuck coming through cant see olise coming

  50. Plug,

    It’s a real grind, the NHL playoffs, but I’m liking what I see from the Avs so far.

    It’s pretty hard to beat playoff hockey for excitement. The action is relentless.

  51. H&V,

    Yeah, it seems like all parties concerned want Buendia to happen sooner rather than later.

    I’m curious as to whether a Kroenke-Edens ‘rivalry’ will come into the bidding. Think we defo have the advantage there. Having won three on the trot against them won’t hurt, neither will their track record of underachieving and frustrating.

  52. PP,

    I could see RLC rumors having some legs. Curious to see what Villa’s dossier on him says.

    I’d imagine Olise is on the list as an option, but like H&V is saying, Chuk probably makes paying for a 19yo unlikely. Main thing is that Olise has been playing, producing, and getting wise. Could well be worth a punt for future value, if nothing else.

  53. Rashica’s an interesting one. Doesn’t seem to exactly fit the profile, but neither did Sanson or Traoré, really. Yeah, Bert was at Chelsea, but don’t think he was judged PL fit and ready.

    I’m guessing Rashica and RLC, they’re all about the mental/contextual assessment: attitude, resilience, desire. At £14m, Rashica might not be a bad investment in terms of depth and options, but given what we’ve seen, will he stay healthy, and will he be good in the dressing room.

    He feels more like a holdover rumor that won’t go away, but maybe Villa haven’t necessarily moved on, and the price keeps dropping.

  54. Values at the moment:
    Ruben Loftus-Cheek £18million
    Dwight McNeil £30million
    Emile Smith-Rowe £30million
    Pereira £17million
    Tammy Abraham £30/40 million
    Buendia £40million
    Rashica £14million.

    How much will Villa be willing to spend to get the players they want?
    If we pay £40 million for Buendia, how much will we spend on McNeil? or will we looking at other options as well?

  55. Just to demonstrate how Micky Mouse this whole transfer window business really is.

    Sky Gambling reporting one “source” as saying Naarwich have received bids from AVFC and The Arse for Buendia. They also say another “source” has told them that The Arse have placed a second bid worth 35 million for him.

    Yet another “source” says a “big club in Europe” has joined the race to sign him whilst a further “source” has told them that Naarwich haven’t received ANY bids for him at all.

    Sounds to me like the player’s agent and also Naarwich are are spinning yarns. Mind you don’t slip on the bullshit.

  56. Buendia looks a done deal. Good addition to the team and nice for the deal to go through fairly early. Now for a left back and perhaps another winger and i think we will be ready to compete for another season especially against the elite sides.

  57. Good to see the Buendia deal is almost done, and should be announced in the next few days. Arsenal apparently did not make an official bid.

  58. BBC reporting fee of £30 million agreed between Naarwich and Villa, personal terms agreed and medical already completed in Argentina. Well done Emi!!

  59. That’s hard cheese talking. The underlying worry is that AVFC will be overtaking Arsenal in the near future. The ambitions of NSWE are clearly different to the mining of profits by Kroneke. Nuff said.
    When players see what Villa are building and the quality of players who have signed long term and want to stay it becomes a no brainer of where to go for your career.
    I think Villa has more of a team spirit than most teams in the Premier League.

  60. I know the deal isn’t finalised yet and there have been many times when these things turn out not to even have a grain of truth, but with so many reputable news outlets confirming that a deal is nearly there it does seem that there is now a good chance that Buendia will be coming to us.

    It’s surprising that it is so public before the deal is finalised as the owners have tended to try and do these deals quietly behind doors so is it possible that Norwich or his agent are trying to encourage counter offers from some third party other than Arsenal?

    If it does go through though he would bring another dimension to our forward line, and in case you’ve not already seen it, here’s a link to his stats, plus lots of snippets of him in action:

    He clearly has a really good understanding with Pukki and particularly Cantwell (who I would love to have seen at Villa) so if he does come it will be interesting to see just how he slots in and with whom he gains a similarly intuitive understanding. Jack and Ollie both have good footballing brains and you would imagine would quickly find themselves on the same wavelength. He seems to see where spaces behind defenders ‘will’ be and weights passes beautifully into those areas for others to run on to. He’d be a great asset against teams playing a high line, as long as we have a good finisher who can also see where these spaces will be and can time their runs perfectly.
    He has great close skills and draws fouls in much the same way that Jack does . . . . .we really could do with a younger Hourihane to take the inevitable free kicks that he and Jack will be drawing, just outside the box.
    He has two good feet and you can imagine our front players having fun playing close triangles in and around the opposition box.
    I do hope it now goes through but if not, we can always go for the 22 year old who Arsenal fans are now convincing themselves is even better and cheaper than Buendia! After all. . . . .Villa would be a much more attractive option for him.

  61. Ian, really? bonus, I wonder what he has told the saints fans?

    Looking at Beundia’s stats and I can’t quite believe he’s coming here, its like buying another Jack on the cheap, his chance creation is right up there with Jacks but can tackle and much more.

    “What Villa are getting
    Statistically, Buendia is off the scale.

    He scored 15 goals and provided 16 assists for Norwich in the Championship last season alone, but beyond those rather obvious numbers Buendia’s chances created figures are through the roof too.

    He completed 63 key dribbles and 122 key passes – the latter being comfortably the highest total in the Championship.

    Buendia is so much more than what he does with the ball, though. His work-rate without it is phenomenal, displayed perfectly by his tackle completion rate – despite being an attacking midfielder, he made the fifth most amount of fair challenges in the division last season with 93. A man that can do it all.”

  62. I also can’t believe we’ve seemingly won the race for Buendia, and that no other teams but Arsenal were in for him.

    Haven’t given a moment’s thought to JWP, what he’d cost, what he brings, who makes way. One of the biggest transfer surprises I can imagine. Not because I have any idea whether it’s a good idea, or even possible, but because it’s so off the map of all the needs we’ve been talking about, and here it is in every outlet all at once as our next move.

  63. I’m guessing it’s his laser like free kicks. With Grealish and Brenda racking up fouls it’ll be like pinball.

  64. If the jangling grape vine has any substance, this fan will be highly delighted. The engine room comes first, second and third. Once our midfield is robust and up with the best of them……let the good times roll.

  65. Super Jack once again the saviour of Beaky. Less than a year ago he was thinking up any excuse possible for his reasons why he didn’t select him. The media howled. The fans howled. And Beaky was dragged moaning and complaining into selecting him. Jack might just save him his job.

  66. JC and Ian, it’s good to know that our owners are reading the blog and have reacted so quickly, in trying to bring in the best set-piece expert in the country!

  67. I’ve knecked a few beers, but how about this:


    House Konsa Mings

    Cash Brenda Ward-Prowse Jack SJM Targett


  68. jesus Christ, went away and off grid for 4 days and got back last night to be greeted with Buendia news. opened some cans in celebration.

    WOW not been as excited with a transfer for ages. loved buendia for last 3 years and is exactly what we need. insane and still smiling!

  69. mark

    yep beundia has it all is why ive been desperated for him. The difference between el ghazi, troare is buendia will work and press…..and look after that ball like its his. and create! His passing and weight of pass is sublime.

    tbf last few games ive noticed troare pressing more and making interceptions. He really shouldn’t be wrote off as he has crazy ability.

  70. jpw will be bloody hard to get out of saints. tbf I know he has great set pieces but not sure where he would line up? can imagine wed be 433 with him.

    mcniel would be lovely. Next 2 signings will prob tell us how we line up and where jack plays

  71. Well, as its on the official AVFC site now we can really start to look forward to seeing Buendia at Villa Park more than just the once next season when we play Norwich.
    If the JWP rumours are true then it does seem that we’re conducting our business more openly than in the past which is a bit surprising. Southampton seem to be a bit surprised and put out by the transfer talk and I have some sympathy for them. We know what it’s felt like to see teams trying to turn Jack’s head every season and I preferred our quieter approach, but maybe that’s naive of me and it’s been judged that this approach is more likely to achieve the ends we desire.
    Having said that . . . . . . of course I would love to see him at Villa Park next year . . . . . I don’t expect it to happen, but it would be lovely if it did.

  72. Playing the ‘next year formation game’ . . .

    I like Plug’s 3 at the back idea to give us more attacking intent, but as we’d still presumably want to include Targett and Cash, wouldn’t this result in us having to leave out an attacking player?

    I’m not going to assume we get JWP as it still all feels a little unreal to me.

    As the quality of the squad increases then DS will presumably need to include more players on match days so perhaps we should be looking at an attacking set up and a more defensive one, but putting that to one side for now, I’ll go for an attacking set up:

    Cash, Konsa, Mings, Targett
    Mcginn, Chukwuemeka
    Traore, Buendia, Jack

    McGinn would be playing a more defensive role here, zipping about in front of the back 4 (switch for Nakamba if/when he starts to tire). Assuming they gell and develop a good understanding between each other then the attacking trio would be pretty interchangeable.

  73. H&V. . . . . you’re so right. . . . . it really is taking a while to sink in. Having been through the Lerner and Xia tenure’s which promised so much but ultimately failed, I think we’re all ‘wanting’ it to be the real thing this time but nervous of fully accepting it.
    When you look at how much Chelsea and City owners invested in the early days to take those clubs into the upper echelons, the spending at Villa has not been excessive so far and it’s only the Buendia signing which seems to have opened the eyes of opposing fans to what ‘might’ be happening at Villa. Even now, much of the talk is that we must be cashing in on Jack in order to fund these other players rather than believing that other players may be joining us ‘because’ of Jack staying as part of a bigger plan.

  74. It seems that we’re also being linked with Woods and McNeill from Burnley. The first thought is. . . .but why would they sell? They have new American owners who you would have thought would want to protect their best assets in the same way that ours have.

    You then see that their new owners have loaded the club with debt and I thoiught that this comment was telling:

    “ALK Capital’s business plan is about securing top-flight football in Burnley for decades to come, but its financial model considers all economic circumstances, both on and off the football pitch.”

    In other words, they are prepared for the club to drop down a division, but you can bet that the owners would still expect the interest on the new debt (possibly at an interest rate of around 9%) to be paid. In other words, the takeover has the uncomfortable feeling of being all about quick cash generation rather than a vision to develop the club by planning for success on the pitch.

  75. H&V. . . . .I’m usually guilty of looking for shadows and preparing for the worst but I really do believe that the owners want Jack to stay . . . . . and why would Jack leave at the very point that he can see that his own beloved Villa could be once more on the verge of greatness, and HE could be playing a key role in getting us there.

  76. robbo

    yeah im certain jack stays for now. after the world cup maybe ill get twitchy but keep him long enough for him to draw quality so we wont struggle when he goes!

    mcneil is totally getable but wood pointless. cant see that happening. makes no sense! we want mobile pressing forwards

  77. foxes getting Eduardo for 18mill. nice bloody business along with soure! how do you catch up!

    Hopefully hammers with euro footy, everton no Ancelotti, arsenal always 1 defeat from a crisis and spurs no kane will help us move up places

  78. There’s 2 ways of looking at transfers in secrecy or in public. If you are recruiting from the lower divisions, secrecy works because the players in question see only the step up in skill and wages and are happy to sign.

    As Villa go for better quality players now, I think it is naive to believe they can be recruited in secrecy. Other clubs will invariably be interested too and news soon breaks.

    The JWP story may be a red herring. A great story to have breaking when you are trying to convince another player to join your club. Maybe it was just a sales pitch to ensure Buendia signs.

  79. As ROBb0 says, it’s on the offical website now so seeing is believing. My cue to fill my boots with several Arse fans at work.

    They are combusting, I can tell you. Haven’t had a Monday this good in years!!

  80. putting the jwp intentions might be a way of unsettling the bugger as he will be hard to pricze away. it will have to come down to him to force it. hes 26 and just missed the eng cut. times now to move matey. come and join the revolution!

  81. Was away for the weekend with a very weak internet connection trying to keep track of all this.

    With JWP, the theories I’m reading here all make sense. If we are actually making a move, it does seem a bit strange given Southampton’s leverage (and the associated price), JWP probably needing to ask for a move. It has definitely not been Villa’s style to act like the Sky Six and use the media to unsettle players.

    Maybe someone at Saints has a big mouth. Maybe we’ve changed our style and are saying, “Talk about Grealish all you like, he’s going nowhere. And for the record, you’re not the only ones now who can assume your ‘interest’ guarantees capitulation.” So, could be a message for them.

    You’d think we could probably find better value given how Saints will play this. But maybe they’re in tough straits and secretly welcome the “predatory” interest to stay onside with their supporters. Could be a mutually sanctioned leak: “Yeah, we’ll talk, but we have to posture a bit before relenting.” And maybe JWP is okay with being characterized as wanting a move away.

    Southampton have been a well-run club and I have a lot of time for them. But they’re not going to be able to keep up with Villa in terms of pure financial power.

  82. So, JWP makes sense as a player. The value will be the only question for me.

    Chris Wood, that seems less obvious. He’s older (29, I think), and wouldn’t seem destined to be a starter. However, he does work hard, he scores, he’s a tough nut, and gives us a dimension up front we don’t have.

    With balls flying in from set pieces and open play, he’d probably get a lot of opportunities. Throw him on in the last 20-30mins with everything else we’re building up, and he’s going to get the kinds of goals we aren’t scoring many of right now.

    So, personality- and character-wise, plus added dimension…? Who knows. Maybe it’s a smokescreen to help drive down the price on someone like Tammy. But at 29, maybe he’s okay getting away from a perennial relegation scrap and transitioning to a super sub. And probably getting paid more, too.

  83. Bigger picture, whatever the eventual acquisitions, going out and getting Buendia and swatting Arsenal aside in the process is very gratifying.

    Compass mean business. And when you have cash on hand, a distressed market = opportunity.

  84. JC. . . .I agree that Chris Woods seems a slightly unusual rumour, particularly because of his age which just doesn’t seem to fit the profile of player we’ve been going for.
    As for JWP, there’s a report that Southampton were upset by the Villa talk as they thought that they had a good rapport with the Villa management and this behaviour went against that. It could be that it shows a real determination on our behalf to get the player, or of course is could just all be bollocks!
    Good point about the distressed market creating opportunities. . . . . does Rashica at half last year’s price fit that description?

  85. Only clubs with secure financial backing will improve next season. I expect Villa will be above Everton, Leeds, Leicester, West Ham and Arsenal next season. If Kane goes then add Tottenham to the list.
    The big problem will be keeping all the players happy.

  86. Only clubs with secure financial backing will improve next season. I expect Villa will be above Everton, Leeds, Leicester, West Ham and Arsenal next season. If Kane goes then add Tottenham to the list.
    The big problem will be keeping all the players happy.

  87. r0bb0,

    I think so, Rashica. I can’t remember what club it was I read about, maybe Frankfurt, with an interest in him, but they reportedly couldn’t stump up the £14m-£15m. Need to sell, first.

    I know the finances are different in Germany, but still. That’s chump change for Villa now. Also have to factor in that his history hasn’t been great since he passed on a move after the interest last year.

    I’m guessing the deal for Buendia might’ve had some element of this involved. Villa to Norwich: “Whatever Arsenal bid, add £1m. Call us when they’re done.”

    Course, Buendia had to want to come, which is what’s upsetting the gooners. The fact we weren’t really engaged in a bidding war, in the end, says something.

  88. Ian,

    Don’t think you’re wrong about money. Though we are that little bit behind some.

    Per usual, I’m not ready to make any predictions. I think you’re right about Everton and probably Arsenal. Maybe all of them. That does seem to be the intent.

    I’m just really fascinated to see who we end up with. Keeping everyone happy is probably always an issue, that’s why I like the fact that Ghazi, Trez, even Traoré and Sanson, didn’t cost that much, relatively. But no doubt we’ll soon be facing that issue with signings: “He’s going to want to start every game. Is he willing to be a squad player?”

    I think that’s the real trick, the Catch 22 of Europe. You need a squad deep enough that the necessary rotation keeps everyone happy along with the chance of silverware everyone gets to brag about. But that means you need enough players willing to be second choice in an ideal ‘best team,’ for some period of their careers, at least.

    It’s like managing a whole bunch of escalators running up and down, who gets on and off where, and how do you keep getting the best 15-20 to the top at the same time?

  89. Or, to be brief: Getting there is one thing, staying another. Spurs and Arsenal never quite getting over the line, and finally being caught up.

    So when I say I’m fascinated to see who we bring in, it should tell us a lot about what Year Three is expected to yield.

  90. Also, whether Compass think there’s a chance to deliver a hammer blow now, regardless of what Year Three originally looked like on paper.

  91. It all looks very exiting at the villa .. would love ward prouce and think he would be a key player and would have a lot of free kicks to take … it would take a massive fee to get him but i we do we really are in business for next season

    nice to see Brazil on the thread wonder what frem is making of it all

  92. john

    yeah its really interesting what our next moves are. where players will play and maybe a change in formation? Buendia rw or 10? jack lw or 10! How much will we spend and how many players!

    Im just still basking in Buendia. still cant belive it

  93. Plays pretty, exciting football, few results. Everton are going to stumble next year. Having Ancelloti pull up sticks just like he did has to be confidence sucking on the players who bought into his system.

  94. True words Ian. If the manager legs it and shows no loyalty to the club whatsoever, you can just imagine how the Everton players feel. I think we’ll finish above them next season.

  95. I can confirm I’ve seen Frem on these pages twice recently. He’s definitely keeping tabs on discussions but hasn’t decided to comment yet.

    Frem, you must have some views on the Brenda purchase, the return of Freddie and the release of Elmo and Taylor. I’m all ears.

  96. Hey guys.

    Now Trezeguet is injured I’m all calm


    Buendia I think is a fantastic little player. I don’t know if we will play him CAM or RW. I think he’s a bit slow for RW.

    Good thing about him though is he will will roam around and tuck inside finding pockets whislt Cash provides the width.
    We need that to break teams down because the last 25 games we were pathetic really. Awful on the ball.
    He will find passes through to Watkins that Traore can’t. He will link with Grealish well to.

    Elmo and Taylor. Glad they have gone.
    We need better sqaud players and Guilbert could be that for sure

  97. This Sarr link

    Get the kid l. Hes tall and athletic, everything our midfield doesn’t have.

    I don’t think Luiz is a good DM. I don’t rate him much really. We need better. Mcginn and Luiz should not be our starting paring in midfield.. Not good enough on the ball or of it.

    I’d love Sarr and especially Ward-Prowse.

    Ward-Prowse we’d score 10 goals a season just on his delivery.

    We still need another winger to replace Ghazi. We need a better all round player than Ghazi who just doesn’t affect games enough

    We also need a better striker backup. Wesley isn’t much use. Probably loaned or sold.

    Our sqaud last season was so thin.
    We need a left back to

    We need another 4 or 5 players really

  98. Finally.

    Luiz or Marvelous?

    I think everyone saw our last two games that Marvelous is the better DM by far.. So much quicker and more aggressive. Luiz offers no protection to the defence.

    Unfortunately though we will sell Marvelous, especially if Sarr and or Ward-Prowse come in

  99. Nice one Frem good to see you back fella
    loving the Sarr link and if we get ward prouce it will be a great buy but also a huge statement … Southampton will play real hard ball is it would take a determined effort and a large amount of cash ,,, if we pull that one of maybe the bias press may start to realise villa are for real and not one single player wants to leave and more and more want to come

    such signings would also see us being able to keep and use the ball a lot better …just leave room for super chuck

  100. I fully agree Runts. We have to reach a tipping point where the Laandan press finally get it into their blinkered heads that there is a new kid on the block who doesn’t take any shit.

    Pleased you’re back Frem. Yep, Trez will be missing for much of next season. Mark is gutted. Me? Get Freddie in at RB and push Cash up the RW with Buendia inside him.

    The team is definitely looking more athletic.

  101. Hey Frem
    You are right regarding El Gazi and Trezuguet. The difference was that last season they were all Villa had. A new transfer season is going to make some amends to that. They were perfect when Villa got them but the game slowly passed them by. I still think there is a better player in El Gazi. I look at some of the players Villa brought in in past years and let them go only to see them improve by miles. Vertout anyone? Adama? And Wesley? He hasn’t had a chance to acclimatize. You can see that with Smith talking about British players and how quick they should fit in. I know the league is brutal with players but give him a bit more time. I think he is one to surprise. I like Mings attitude and I liked the blow to the chops of the Austrian player. YOu don’t hand those out for fun. But, I think he has reached his best level and perhaps a good time to sell. $30mill?

  102. Welcome back Frem but you just had to dis the Egyptian magician, you’ll never learn.

    I can’t wait to see Buendia play, the only question I have is he had great rapport with Pukki, in fact he could pick out his runs almost Blind folded, Now I have to say that is not how Villa have played so far. I can barely remember a through ball.

    So the question must be who will he be feeding? Will Watkins make the runs ? I must admit other than him there are not many options that look to get in behind, The only one that did regularly but was rewarded with balls at the back of his head was the almighty Trez.

    So will Watkins get a thing going with Buendia or will it be someone else maybe bursting from midfield like McGinn?

    Also we are not a Jack centric team for no reason, will Buendia see enough ball? he was Norwichs Jack.

  103. At least 40. I just want him to tighten up his game and be a bit more consistent. Just love those elbows though.

  104. Ian. I just don’t think Wesley has the pace or attitude. He was so easily annoyed. Always waving his arms around. He was never in the box either and for a Brazilian he looked very clumsy with the ball.

    Mings. I agree. Maybe is a good time to sell.

    Mark. Yes you are right I can’t remember a through ball either. That has to change with Watkins pace and Buenida vision surely?
    We have to become a more unpredictable team. Our wingers always stay wide and never move and it makes us pretty easy to play against.

  105. Mark good point … I did make a comment a few months back about seeing Ollie making runs in and around the box but not attempted threw balls to him including Jack hopefully buendia will lead the way in finding intelligent runs that will lead directly to a shot from a threw ball … something buendia seems even better at that super Jack

  106. Rob Mackenzie who we got from Leicester found Kante and Marez for them and has identified Sarr for us who is being compared to Viera and was fast tracked into the national side at 18 years old …. get him in

  107. angelsea at Fulham. dm and available for 20mill with prem experience.

    this sarr for 25 or 30mill in a market that’s meant to be cheap is an odd one for me. and hes only played half a season! but I trust the process

  108. Noticed Argentina drew 2-2 in Columbia last night having been 0-2 ahead. The equalizer was shipped in the 94th minute.

    Martinez in goal for Argentina, but Buendia not even on the subs bench.

  109. Plug Martinez got knocked out cold close to half time and was taken off without conceding

    Rob Mackenzie knows his stuff we took him in to find gems for us as he has in the past so rather than being worried I am more excited for what he brings to the table

  110. Yeah, I think trusting the process is all we can do, and there’s a pretty decent track record so far.

    Clearly Smith & Co have seen that midfield is our issue.

  111. Frem,

    Having Buendia to complement Jack will make us much more unpredictable and expansive. That’s a lot of quality and creativity on the ball, plus work rate and end product. It should pose opponents a lot of problems, far more than when Ross was making an impact.

  112. Then the other targets we’re being linked with…? We could end up being a very, very good team with lots of options. Dunno if some will have to leave, but as things stand, we should end being able to inject changes of pace and style many will find difficult to counter.

    I think we’ll also be holding on to the ball much better.

  113. John. Ball retention is vital to improve. We were so bad at it for the last 20 odd games

    Josh King kinked on a free.
    Makes sense

    A question I have been wondering.


    In Denmark he was known for statistics and statistically finding cheap value players unknown and they club improving the value. When I say cheap I mean 600 thousand pound players l, maybe a few million the most expensive ones

    But here, se are signing the likes of Watkins and cash, Buendia and potentially Ward-Prowse

    These aren’t unknown players, or cheap

    So why did we get Lange?

    I know we have the former Leicester City scout to who is goody

  114. Frem I have read that the reason we brought Buendia was because his stats were leaping out at Lange … was he with us for Watkins buy ? thought he was someone deano wanted

    I think we currently have world class backroom staff that have shown there worth which is why they are employed by our owners
    I hear Lange is very stats based when seeking players

  115. Frem I’d say that Lange is here for his mastery of stats, brought his second in from his last club who’s a bit of a whizz on the computer side but you can’t get away with not having an eye for a player regardless. His last club bought cheaply from south America and east Europe but they sold for around the £10m level. I agree that this level is another ball game and I thought it an odd appointment but so far so good.

  116. Compass know what they are doing. And the fans are right behind them. Record season ticket sales demonstrate it. We are so fortunate. VP is going to be riotous next season. The future has been strategically planned. The aim is to muscle in on the Champions League. The Youth Cup is already in the trophy cabinet.

    I mean, we could have an owner like the Yam Yams. Doesn’t want Wilder but instead prefers Wagner who lost something like 15 games at Shalke. Never puts any money into their club. Never makes an appearance in 2 and a half years but comes out of the woodwork to veto Wilder.

    Can’t wait to get back on the Holte End.

  117. And now St. Andrews is sold to a Hong Kong real estate company. Won’t be long til condos area built there.
    Same shit is happening at wolves. They sold some good players to start the season. Not going to invest next season

  118. I only watched Buendia 3 times last season, and each time he looked Jack class. Don’t forget Sanson for this season. I think he’ll be a starter now he should be settled. We also have Carney for cup games and P-Bidace (who I felt was excellent in his 15min cameo for 1st team).

    Josh King or Milot Rashica – no thanks. Ward-Prowse would cost at least £30m, which is way too much. I think we need cover at left back

    And welcome back Frem 🙂

  119. The greedy bastards are laughing at us. The naughty boys have had a slap on the wrist for their treachery. Time to start investigating bank accounts of those handing out these favours.

  120. H&V, 50M for Ward-Prowse would be insane.

    Agree on Josh King and Everton didn’t want to keep him for free, so what does that say. I’d be happy with a LB and bring the youth through. Aim for top 5-8.

    Wesley will be an interesting one to see how good he is in a quality side. Fingers crossed.

    I agree with Frem that Marvelous is a better 6 than Douglas. I think Marvelous will get better and better the more game time he gets. Let Douglas be backup and fight for #8 spot

  121. No idea whether the King talk has any legs, but it would make a certain amount of sense.

    First, he’s free.

    Second, he has scored goals, has international experience, and didn’t get much of a chance at Everton. Think I read he played 67 total minutes?

    Third, he’d just be a backup and insurance. Since he’s free, it’s only wages and a roster spot, but that would even out with Davis going out on loan. If Wes goes out, too, then we have room to sign another striker with better odds of playing more.

    I think it’s probably a smarter move than paying £25m for Chris Wood to ride the bench.

  122. runtings, MK.

    Agreed. Lange’s just shopping with a fatter wallet now. Same principles, and every bit as tricky if not more so because these are large sums for players expected to make an instant impact.

  123. Ward-Prowse? Southampton would hold us to serious ransom, agreed, and £50m sounds about right.

    Ings? He’s a quality striker, no doubt. But again, comes down to system and paying a premium when we probably won’t be playing two strikers. That’s why I’m not that bothered about King. And coming on a free, it’s easy to just let him go. This is where Lange comes in, looking at King’s body of work, etc. Maybe he gets a one-year contract or something, which he might well take to come to a team on the up.

    Anyway, a player like Ings only really makes sense if they’re moving Ollie wide with Jack and Buendia. Otherwise, don’t think we’ll be sidelining our previous record signing for an aging vet. Ings will be 29 this summer.

  124. Welcome to VP Emi Buendia. Signed a 5 year deal according to official site.

    Two Brazilians and two Argentinians eh? Oh dude.

    Emi, you (and all the recruits over the last year) are going to experience nothing like it when VP starts rocking.

  125. Lots of young players been touted as Villa targets, but the only deal which has legs at the moment, is the one for Josh King, and I am with JC on that. It is a no brainer, with him coming on a free, and becoming the back-up we need.
    Then we have enough in the pot for another major signing, which could be Ward-Prowse, or someone similar. I would still like us to sign Sam Johnstone as a no2, to Martinez. Makes good sense, and he looks good for future development as an England keeper. Heaton will be gone, and maybe we should release Jed Steer.

    How things have changed, even if it is only media pundits, but even last season, could we have possibly have imagined the idea of Bernado Silva, Raheem Sterling or Mahrez being offered to Villa in exchange for the services of our Jack!!!

    We really are moving in very different circles with Villa in the news everyday, even if it is just to sing Jack Grealish’s praises…

  126. Darren Fletcher and Sir Alex want McGinn for United. Pep wants Jack for City, and so it goes on.
    Jack’s mates are supposed to be saying that he is interested in Playing in the Champions League next season, but wont make a decision until after the Euros.

    I am sure we will hold on to McGinn, but he could become the most improved player by the end of the Euros, and be the rock that he was in the Championship, and once again “Super John McGinn”.
    Jack I would love to think he will stay, and want to see what he can achieve with Villa, but Champions League football, winning the final for City, is the thing that dreams are made of, and I would understand him wanting that.

    Buendia, Ollie, Wesley, Traore, El Ghazi, Davis, Louie Barrie, Carney Chukwemaka, Philogen-Bidace, are all ours now, add a few more like King or Abrahams, Ward-Prowse or Olise, and we have some sort of array of potential for this coming season, even without Jack, but with him it will be almost out of this world. If he does go, his replacement would come from Silva, Mahrez or Sterling!!

  127. All very interesting surrounding Grealish. McGinn I can see us letting go of and making a very tidy profit. But not until we have at least one new MF terrier lined up.

    Naturally, no idea what to make of the “Jack’s friends say…” kind of stories. Could be true, could be utter bollocks. As to waiting until after the Euros? Hard to see Jack putting the club in that position later in the summer. But, perhaps discussions have been had and they’re all preparing for that.

    Me, I don’t what would’ve changed in Jack’s mind since penning the new deal, being committed to the plan and leading Villa forward. To me, a good Euros would only drive up his price.

    So, I’m with Petrov in still thinking that Jack stays another year, and I don’t know that I see Compass or Smith & Co wanting Silva as a makeweight. Perhaps it’s a “ready-made” solution. Also not sure that Silva, Sterling, or Mahrez would want to come in that it’s a “rejection” from City.

    I’d think if Compass are considering selling, or Jack asks for a move, they’d stick to a very high all-cash price. I don’t believe they’re looking to cash in, but £100m + might do it. Maybe Emi is good enough to carry the load as his successor, and the windfall could buy up some outstanding talent to go with him.

    But right now, Jack is the club. I still think he has to ask for a move for anything to happen.

  128. And given that Jack is the club, I’d think Compass and everyone else would like a year for everything to gel before selling. Did Buendia come thinking he’d be the man, or because he knew Villa were going places and Jack was a big selling point?

    The only thing that makes sense to me is if Compass see his departure as inevitable, and would cash in while his stock is maybe the highest it will ever be.

    But if you’re wanting Europe, hardly makes sense to sell the best MF in the PL besides KDB as you’re pushing. And they are keeping their promise to surround him with talent.

  129. And the other story is “Dean’s not big enough to carry Villa up the table”.
    Yeah right, because he’s not European with broken English the best he can do? Buy English players and then an indecipherable manager who smokes rag ends. How many newspapers did that load of Shiite sell?

  130. fyi, I think I’m going to take some of these thoughts and put up a new page. Less scrolling, etc.

    Not for a little bit, yet, hate to cut anyone off mid-conversation.

  131. Ian,

    So tired of the foreign manager business. Yeah, there have been some dinosaurs playing musical chairs in English football, but that era is coming to an end.

    The British managers plying their trade in the PL (I’m ignoring the man who inspired the cabbage) are very decent. And there’s nothing “tactical,” that isn’t easily understood by anyone who cares to learn.

    We all understand the principles of modern football. And Pep’s such a genius that he can’t win the CL with a team like City.

  132. yeah Jacks not going, and next season when Buendias gets going I get the feeling we will be having to beat teams off with a stick for our players, particularly the front four, that’s how much I think Beundia will change us.

    Now if you really want to get rid of Jack then Sack Smith.

    JWP? he is just the type of player we need in midfield, both he and Beundia work their socks off and can tackle, but both have very good skill sets thats obvious but above all they work like troopers.

  133. I think that we will begin to see what smiths team is actually meant to play like this season.

    I would also be looking at Stuart Webber, he was behind Huddersfield’s rise and left for Norwich but is off in 2022 at the end of his contract, possibly better than McKenzie at talent spotting.

  134. Mark….totally agree. If we can construct a midfield like you have mentioned, the team is going places. Places like we haven’t seen for years. Buendia is another piece of the jigsaw, but he isn’t the final piece.

    The scrapping below us won’t concern us this coming season. I wouldn’t want to be Palace, Burnley, Naarwich, Watford, Brentford or even the Wai Ayes.

  135. Dean isn’t going anywhere, and certainly there is no gossip or pundits suggesting he should.
    He and the team had a great finish to the season, after all the problems with covid, injuries, etc.
    Don’t see much top level transfer activity now until the Euro’s are pretty well over, but could be plenty going on with young potential players.
    Like the suggestions that Villa should look at Adarabioyo, the young centre back from Fulham, as he could be a great squad player for us, and we could do with more cover for Mings and Konsa.
    Would be great if Jack becomes our Stephen Gerrard, and a life long servant. Time will tell.
    Must be time for a new sheet JC, in readiness for the games!!

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