Diego Carlos and Boubacar Kamara are ‘huge’ signings for Aston Villa, Birmingham Live journalist Ashley Preece says, claiming the Villans are now just two signings from a ‘near-perfect’ squad.
Villa paid £27.9million fee to recruit centre-back Carlos from Sevilla, the fourth biggest signing in their history if you go by outlay.
Defensive midfielder Kamara, on the other hand, arrived on a free transfer, having reached the end of his Marseille contract.
The Villans have also sealed three more deals ahead of Steven Gerrard’s first full season, with Philippe Coutinho and Robin Olsen joining permanently and Ludwing Augustinsson arriving from Sevilla on an initial loan.
As part of Birmingham Live’s season preview, Preece and his fellow writers were asked whether Villa’s squad ‘is good enough to mount a charge for Europe’ as it stands.
He reckons that Villa can push for a Europa Conference League place after the massive captures of Carlos and Kamara but thinks Gerrard still needs another midfielder and a striker to complete a ‘near-perfect squad’.
“Villa have a squad capable of really pushing for a top-seven or eighth-placed finish,” he said. “The additions of Diego Carlos and Kamara are huge with the pair immediately improving the spine of Villa’s starting XI.
“There’s depth to Villa’s squad now as well given the centre-back options and the emergence of the young guns.
“I believe Steven Gerrard is possibly two signings away from having what would be classed as a near-perfect squad, a midfielder and possibly striker, one who’s a bit different to what they’ve got already.”
Villa ultimately finished 14th in last season’s Premier League, so it’s important to consider how much the sides above them have strengthened.
There are some sides who might be regarded as vulnerable. Brighton, for instance, have only spent £17.64million on two new players, and they’ve also lost Yves Bissouma to Tottenham Hotspur.
Villa’s Midlands rivals Leicester, meanwhile, haven’t brought in any new faces yet, and so perhaps their top-half position is in jeopardy.
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But on the other hand, West Ham, who finished in that coveted seventh spot last season, have splashed £81.86million on four fresh faces, and so they may be difficult to overhaul.
Perhaps a more sensible target for Gerrard and Villa is to record a first top-half finish since the 2010/11 season, with Europe possibly on the cards the following season.
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