What to do if you’re Aston Villa? Following Randy Lerner’s takeover it appears to have gone all quiet in the Midlands, that is until arch rivals Birmingham City started to splash the cash. Are Villa in danger of losing their status as the number one club in the Midlands? Are they that broke? With their recent striking crisis, we ask who can they realistically sign to kickstart their season?
Whilst the usual Robbie Keane for £6million rumours will once again surface over Christmas, just in time for the January transfer window, Villa have been hit with a worrying loss of form, a spate of injuries and rumours of in-fighting with most of their strikers. The question is now, what is Gerard Houllier to do? Does he have the cash to spend? Should he remain true to Villa’s recent successful policy of buying British or should he look abroad, perhaps to his homeland? Can Villa still attract the big names? And what’s more, is a striker even their priority?
It has been asked in some quarters, and rightfully so, what happened to the Milner money? As Milner moved on, following Gareth Barry, and with Stiliyan Petrov’s recent injury, their midfield seems to have lost spark and creativity.
Ashley Young and Stephen Ireland have somewhat solved this problem as a short term measure but with these two, Stewart Downing and the revelation that is Mark Albrighton, does the midfield need a shake up or do these young wingers just need a new stirker to aim at?
Villa have been unlucky. Emile Heskey, seemingly rejuvenated under Houllier, got injured. Gabriel Agbonlahor is only now returning following a spell on the treatment table, John Carew has had injuries, the ‘flu and an argument with the manager if the papers are to be believed and Nathan Delfouneso has been forced to start, which perhaps shows their lack of options in front of goal. Recent enquiries have been made by Houllier, in an attempt to solve this crisis, for Bafetimbi Gomis, but whether this will amount to much remains to be seen.
Should Villa gamble on young English or lower league talent? Adel Taarabt is one rumour that could have some legs, but is he enough to satisfy the fans? And what of Fabian Delph? Although his step up to the bigtime has been steady, he appears more the enforcer at Villa Park rather than the creative spark they desperately need. What fans would do for the next Dwight Yorke right now. Or Marlon Harewood at the very least…
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