Aston Villa

Bruce simply must beat Middlesbrough to this £4.5m-rated ace if Aston Villa are promoted

Aston Villa supporters have been pretty downbeat in the Transfer Tavern in the last few days after seeing their side’s Championship promotion hopes suffer a blow courtesy of back-to-back defeats at the hands of Queens Park Rangers and Bolton Wanderers.

Steve Bruce’s men went into their home clash with the former this time last week off the back of a stunning 4-1 victory over leaders Wolves at Villa Park, a result which moved them to within four points of Cardiff City in second place. Yet things have taken a turn for the worse for the Midlands giants in recent times, with the Villans comfortably beaten 3-1 by Ian Holloway’s QPR last week, before they went down 1-0 at relegation-threatened Bolton on Saturday to slip to fourth in the Championship, and now seven points behind Neil Warnock’s Cardiff.

As such, there have been many despondent Villa fans in the Tavern in recent times, although several remain optimistic that their side can indeed earn promotion back to the Premier League this season.

In the meantime though, there has been much for our resident Villans supporters to get their teeth into, not least recent reports linking Middlesbrough with a possible permanent move for Everton’s Muhamed Besic, who is currently on loan at the Riverside Stadium.

Yet if Bruce’s Villa are indeed to win promotion back to the top-flight this season, they simply must seek to hijack Boro’s proposed move for the £4.5 million-rated ace (as per Transfermarkt), as he’d add a great amount to the midfield ranks.

Ultimately, the 25-year-old made the move to Tony Pulis’ Boro back in January and has certainly proven his worth with several impressive displays for the North East club, with seven successive Championship starts indicative of his influence in the side.

Significantly though, the Bosnia and Herzegovina international has Premier League experience under his belt from his time at Goodison Park, with the midfielder appearing 37 times for the Toffees in the top-flight, and at times impressing many of our resident Evertonians.

In fact, Besic was a more regular feature in Roberto Martinez’s side at the rear end of the 2015/16 campaign, only for an anterior cruciate ligament injury in August 2016 to keep him sidelined for the succeeding 16 months.

Yet the midfielder has slowly but surely built himself back up to the level that earned him 22 Premier League starts for the Merseysiders, with Besic dominating the midfield area once again with his combative and industrious style.

And this must be of interest to Bruce and the Villa hierarchy, as Mile Jedinak and Glenn Whelan are 33 and 34 years of age respectively, while the younger duo of Conor Hourihane and Henri Lansbury have little to no experience of Premier League football.

So not only would Besic provide a younger and more combative alternative to messrs Jedinak and Whelan, the 27-year-old also has the added advantage over Hourihane and Lansbury of playing at the top level in recent times.

And with the Bosnian star slowly but surely getting back to the level we all saw him produce in spells at Everton, there’s little doubting that he would be an excellent addition to this Villa squad if they do indeed seal promotion to the Premier League this season.

And if they do, Bruce must urge chairman Tony Xia to beat Middlesbrough to the 27-year-old this summer.

Villa fans… what do you think? Let us know!

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