The Aston Villa fans have been in a buoyant mood in the Transfer Tavern this week after finally returning to winning ways with a 3-0 victory over Reading at Villa Park on Tuesday evening.
The resident Villans in the Tavern were harbouring genuine ambitions of claiming an automatic promotion to the top flight just a few weeks ago, but fast-forward a handful of fixtures and those dreams are firmly out of the question. However, their dream of promotion remains a firm possibility as they look destined to finish inside the play-off places with just 6 fixtures left to play.
Although mathematically it remains a possibility that Villa will not finish in the top-six this season, realistically it’s verging on ludicrous to suggest they will fail to achieve that aim, and as such, talk of promotion is a regular topic of conversation among the Villa faithful propping up our bar. The supporters are pleased with their squad, but they believe that they will need to make plenty of signings to ensure they can maintain their top-flight status following promotion to the Premier League.
A combination of quality and experience will be necessary to compete at the highest level of English football, and a player rich with experience in the Premier League who Villa are very familiar with could well become available in the summer. According to The Daily Telegraph West Bromwich Albion midfielder Gareth Barry’s future at the club is in doubt after he was pictured in a Birmingham nightclub on the eve of The Baggies’ defeat against Burnley last weekend.
The former Villa, Manchester City and Everton star may not be physically at his best, but he was a player who never relied on pace to succeed in the game, so he is a player that Villa should consider signing in the summer. John Terry has demonstrated the positive impact a player of experience and excellent footballing intelligence can have on a club, so there should be little doubt in Bruce’s head that Barry would be a productive signing, even if his playing time was limited.
To have a player of Barry’s experience in the dressing room is a benefit in itself, and considering he has played for Villa in the past his arrival is likely to give the supporters a huge boost ahead of the new season. The 37-year-old certainly won’t set the world alight with his performances, but he would be a valuable back-up option in Villa’s squad and another leader-type figure to boost the morale in the squad, so Bruce should strongly consider making a bid for his services this summer if his side are promoted to the top-flight.
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