Will it be wrong to call out Aston Villa the “winners” of the transfer market? Despite losing out on their best player, Aston Villa have replaced his ‘each’ ability by a player and in the best way possible. A team generally derails after losing on their best player but Aston Villa have just come out of the situation much better. Being one of the most successful teams of the past, has Aston Villa started their trip back to the old prestige?
Being one of the surprise teams of the season in the last campaign, Aston Villa were not just able to finish the season well. They now will aim to better their previous record and push for a spot for any European place. A new-looking though well-balanced attack makes this team look worth watching and thus the Villa fans will be ready to cheer at the Villa Park.
The new names in form of last Championship season’s most valuable player, Emi Buendia, a long-time target of many Big 6 clubs, Leon Bailey, and one name that always is seen on the top-scorer list in the Premier League, Danny Ings just prove how much the board is backing the team. This attack along with Olie Watkins will be a nightmare for many teams on their day.
Dean Smith showed why he deserves the respect as he helped an average-looking Aston Villa team finish 11th in the league and this season will hope to finish at a better place. But the issue with Smith will be how will he compensate the loss of their captain and leading frontman, Jack Grealish. He also will have to get the team chemistry up quickly and get the new players flowing in the team.
Investments always come with hopes of betterment. The board, the fans, and the players themselves will be very positive before entering the season, and rather than having a goal set for the season, might take a game-to-game approach. The talent at the disposal will have to sync in well and the time when they will start producing the game in numbers, they will be ready to pull-off upsets against the best teams as well.
The attacking plethora will this season try to compliment the defense as they will definitely try to better the 55 goals, they scored last season and this improvement will reflect a better result in the league position as well. Can they even get the better of big giants like Tottenham and Arsenal will be a question to be answered as the season will progress.
AREA OF IMPROVEMENT
Emi Martinez carried the defense well the previous season but can the Villa defense still cope up with the pressure of the league? The arrival of Ashley Young is not much spoken but definitely, the experience that he will add to the team will be very vital especially after the departure of a figure like John Terry from the management. Young Tuanzebe will have to be ready to face any challenge at the highest level of football as the team could at a point be highly reliable on him.
Getting quality individual players do not always guarantee success and this is where one of the most important aspect, Team Chemistry plays its role. The coaching staff will have to work a lot on the training ground to get the best output from the ‘squad’ combining the individual brilliance of each player.
KEY PERIOD (GAMEWEEK 4-10)
Teams like Villa who try to push from the bottom half of the table to the upper half always struggle with consistency due to not-so-good bench strength. After 3 very handy fixtures, Aston Villa will start their most difficult campaign of the season which will shape up the season for the team and the players.
During this period, they face Chelsea, Tottenham, Everton, Manchester United, Arsenal, West Ham United, and Wolves with the majority of the games being away from Villa Park. The teams mentioned above are all defensively compact teams and this will be the test for the new attacking line of Aston Villa to make a mark.
KEY PLAYER: EMI BUENDIA
Replacing the goal contributions of Grealish will be a manageable job for both Watkins and Ings who have proven themselves as elite goal-scorers in the league but the most important criteria that will be missed by the absence of Grealish is his creativity in the final third. Buendia has been added to fill in the boots for the same and the Championship’s most valuable player will have to serve at his best potential if the team needs to perform well.
His 30 goal contribution tally in the Championship proves that he has what it takes to be a top player in the Premier League but he will have to deliver to justice the hype around him. Also, it looks very likely that Villa will miss out on Smith-Rowe of Arsenal, so the duty of chance creations lies heavily on the shoulders of Buendia.
LEAGUE POSITION: TOP HALF OF THE TABLE
Getting instant success of a European spot will be not realistic as the team will have to gel-up well for such performances but definitely, they will be a team fighting for the spots of 7th, 8th, 9th, and 10th. Getting an opportunity even in European Conference League will be valuable for the club both financially and mentally as they look to achieve glory over the coming years.