Can Dean Smith find new clubs for the pair?
It was previously reported that both players have been told to look for new clubs as Villa seek to significantly reduce their wage bill.
The Midlands-based outfit have been busy this summer, spending a total of £74.12m (according to TransferMarkt) and bringing in a total of five players, including Ross Barkley on loan from Chelsea. This will have bumped up the cost of their wage bill, which Smith now must try and reduce before Friday’s deadline in order to balance the books.
El Ghazi has not featured for Villa since the final game of last season despite being a regular during the 2019/20 season and Guilbert has made just two outings this term, both of which have been in the Carabao Cup. As things stand, it’s difficult to see either having much of a part to play at Villa Park this season.
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With this in mind, there is some doubt that Villa will be able to readily get rid of the pair. Speaking to Football Insider, Whelan was asked whether Smith will find it challenging to find suitable outfits for both players.
“They are indeed, absolutely,” he said. “Guilbert’s not been there that long so his contract’s probably got a couple of years left on it.
“I think for those sort of players if they’ve had the conversation with the manager, it’s about getting them out on loan.
“If it’s not going to be a permanent signing and they’re surplus to requirements at Aston Villa, which they will be now with the signings they’ve made, they’ve got to get out there and just try get them loaned out to some clubs and gets some wages off the bill.”
Dean Smith needs to get rid of unwanted deadwood
As we’ve seen so far this season, Villa are starting to go places despite barely retaining their Premier League status at the end of last term. The Villa Park faithful recently applauded the work that Smith has done since he arrived in the Midlands just over two years ago.
Currently second in the Premier League, Villa will likely look to shift some of the deadwood in their squad if they want to maintain their momentum.
However, Whelan is right. Finding clubs for fringe players like El Ghazi and Guilbert could be a tall order this week.
Villa fans, do you agree with Whelan? Will Smith opt to stick with Anwar El Ghazi and Frederic Guilbert or can he show them the door? Join the discussion by commenting below…
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