The Aston Villa fans have been celebrating in the Transfer Tavern this week after their side sealed their place in the Championship playoff final.
Our resident Villans are dreaming of a return to the Premier League after just a two year absence, but they are fully aware of the task that lies before them. Fulham are narrow favourites to clinch promotion at Wembley in just over a weeks time, but the Villa fans believe that their side are capable of clinching a massive victory when the two sides face off.
Villa scraped through to the final with a 1-0 aggregate victory over Middlesbrough – a result which underlined their need to improve their attacking options this summer, especially if they clinch promotion to the top-flight. Steve Bruce has done brilliantly to get the club to the position they find themselves in as they have lacked the presence of a prolific striker throughout the season.
Scott Hogan has led the line for the vast majority of the campaign, but he only managed to score 6 goals from 37 appearances in the Championship. With that in mind, Bruce should make a bid to sign Southampton’s Manolo Gabbiadini this summer, as the Saints should be willing to entertain offers for his services.
The Italian striker was the club’s hero against Swansea earlier this month as he bagged a late winner to secure their survival in what was effectively a relegation play-off match, but it was only his 3rd goal of a hugely disappointing campaign. However, Gabbiadini’s struggle can largely be explained by the overall decline of Southampton’s form, a lack of service into the box and competition for places which prevented him from establishing a rhythm.
The form Gabbiadini (valued at £13.5 million by Transfermarkt) showed during the early stages of his Southampton career proves that he has the potential to become a prolific striker in English football within the right environment. Gabbiadini could well be the type of striker who needs to know he is the main man in order to find his best form, so Bruce should boost his confidence and improve Villa’s chances of survival in the top-flight by bringing him to Villa Park following promotion.
Aston Villa fans – thoughts? Let us know below!
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