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    The villains last season scraped their way to a 17th place finish with Dean Smith at the helm last season but that team is a far cry from where they are today at this moment in time.

    How did they do it ?

    The board were clearly impressed with what they saw last season as they have thoroughly backed the gaffer signing several new first team players as well as retaining the most important players in their squad. Jack Grealish and John McGinn are arguably the clubs most valuable assets. And over the summer, despite interest from other clubs were able to keep them at the club including the extension of Jack Grealish’s contract over the summer despite the fact that he seemed destined to join an interesting Manchester United project but it was not to be as they opted for the signing of Donny Van De Beek from Ajax after United were seemingly priced out of a move for Ole’s first choice Midfield target.

    Summer Transfer window 2020 Incoming

    Villa looked to strengthen their weakest first team areas and have made use of their local scouting network by looking to the championship and signing two young talented players who were looking to prove themselves in the highest tier of English football in Matty Cash an English 23 year old right back from Nottingham forest as well as Ollie Watkins an English 24 year old striker who formed part of a deadly attack in the championship with Brentford last season. Villa had a small crisis in terms of Goalkeeper over the summer with seasoned veteran Pepe Riena returning to his parent club from loan and the best Keeper in the team left was the ageing Tom Heaton who could have done a job for them
    years ago perhaps but is long passed his prime so they looked to find a new first choice goalie.

    Arsenal’s 2nd choice goalkeeper in Emiliano Martinez was brought in to guard the villains in between the sticks. They have also successfully brought in Bertrand Traore, a 25 year old right sided midfielder from Burkina Faso on an initial loan with an obligation to buy from Lyon as well as Ross Barkley an English 26 year old Central midfielder on a season long loan from Chelsea. These signings have offered some solidity at the back as well as squad depth in Midfield and attack.

    What’s Changed at Villa on the pitch ?

    So far with 4 games played Villa currently sit comfortably in second position with the best goal difference in the league and while I doubt we’ll see them there at the end of the season I think it is clear that their new signings have accomplished 3 main things. Firstly the defence has been very impressive
    keeping 3 clean sheets and conceding only two goals which both came from the one and only Egyptian king in a 7-2 win against the reigning champions. New Goalkeeper Martinez looks solid as well as right back Matty Cash who is leading his team for Tackles and interceptions.

    Secondly the midfield now well and truly looks Premier League quality, Dean Smith seems to favour the 4-2-3-1 formation which allows him to play Douglas Luiz as a traditional number 6 with John
    McGinn beside him to share some defensive duties as well as create from deep while we see the likes of Barkley (Central Midfielder), Grealish (Left sided Midfielder), and Trezeguet (Right sided Midfielder) push forward and attack. Lastly, they’ve managed to bring down their average age in the squad which
    offers them more dynamism and creativity on the pitch. In fact the team Smith fielded against Liverpool and Leicester city was made up of players between 22-28 years old which shows they have players with plenty first team experience and youth.

    Agree? Disagree? Have something to add? Your comments are always welcomed and appreciated. So get to it and leave your comments below….

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