Aston Villa supporters have been making a lot of noise in the Transfer Tavern this week after seeing their team record a second successive Championship victory courtesy of a routine 3-0 success over struggling Sunderland on Tuesday night.
Steve Bruce’s men went into their encounter at the Stadium of Light off the back of a 4-2 win over Sheffield Wednesday in their preceding league match back on February 24, which kept them in third place in the division. And that is where the Villans remain after victory in the North East on Tuesday night, with goals from ex-Black Cat Lewis Grabban and James Chester, alongside an own goal from Bryan Oviedo, piling further misery on Chris Coleman’s Sunderland, while Villa remain firmly in contention for a return to the Premier League.
Subsequently, there have been many buoyant Villans fans in the Tavern in recent times, several of whom are eagerly anticipating their side’s home clash with table-toppers Wolves on Saturday, as victory would bring Bruce’s men to within seven points of their Midlands rivals in the Championship table.
And several of our resident Villa fans are already turning their attentions towards the summer and who their team could seek to land were they to make the Premier League, and one man who many want to see at Villa Park is Crystal Palace right-back Joel Ward.
And that’s because the 28-year-old has certainly proven his qualities in the top-flight in the last few years, and would certainly bolster the Villans’ defensive ranks were they to indeed return to the top tier.
Ultimately, Ward has seriously impressed for Palace ever since moving to Selhurst Park back in 2012, firstly in helping them win promotion in his first season at the club, before doing his bit to keep them there in the seasons which followed.
And with appearances in all 38 of the Eagles’ league games last term, as well as 103 from the 114 matches in the previous three campaigns, the right-back is clearly hugely dependable and someone Bruce could rely upon to do a job – after all, there was talk not too long ago that he could earn an England call-up such were his efforts.
And with 159 appearances at Premier League level, the Englishman would also bring a wealth of top-flight experience to this Villa team, the sort of experience Bruce has relied upon this term to help the club near a top tier return.
Yes, Alan Hutton has performed admirably at right-back so far this season for the Villans, but at the age of 33 and having been found out in the Premier League before, there are likely to be some question marks over his suitability to regularly perform in the side.
Thus, bringing Ward in makes total sense for Villa this summer if they were indeed to go up, as not only would he add to vast amounts of experience already present in Bruce’s squad, but he would also bring genuine Premier League quality to their ranks.
The Villans may fancy their chances of landing the 28-year-old as well given that his contract expires in the summer (as per Transfermarkt), while Palace could well take Villa’s place in the Championship next term given their current predicament, which will surely only serve to help Bruce in his pursuit.
As such, the Midlands giants must seek to land the £4.5 million-rated star (as per Transfermarkt) if they reach the Premier League.
Villa fans… what do you think? Let us know!