Assessing Aston Villa’s 2020/21 summer transfer window

With the transfer window now closed, Aston Villa will look back and hopefully be confident in the business done to strengthen our squad for this season.

A large chunk of the summer was spent agonising over Jack Grealish’s future before his eventual exit to join Manchester City, and so that was undoubtedly a blow for the club as we all no doubt hoped that our former captain would stay.

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Nevertheless, he departed in a record £100m deal, as per the Guardian, and so the club went about filling the void he left behind while also strengthen the squad as a whole to ensure we become more and more competitive as time goes on.

In came Emiliano Buendia, Ashley Young, Danny Ings, Leon Bailey and Axel Tuanzebe, while Ally Samatta, Bjorn Engels, Tom Heaton, Conor Hourihane, Wesley, Frederic Guilbert, Neil Taylor and Ahmed Elmohamady all departed.

As part of a long-term vision and strategy for the Villa ownership, we are ultimately aiming to become a side capable of competing for Europe and beyond in the coming years, and while we’re only two years into our return to the Premier League, there is a process that must take place to ensure it’s a sustainable and steady rise rather than an ‘all in’ approach which may or may not work.

So, how would you rate Villa’s transfer window now that it has closed and the moves, both in and out, noted above have been confirmed?

In Buendia, Ings and Bailey, we have added three attacking players to effectively replace what Grealish brought to the side, while simultaneously moving on from being too dependent on one player.

We now have a more dynamic and threatening attacking group as a whole, and while it’s hoped that they’ll all be fully fit as soon as possible, there is a lot to like about the creativity, pace and finishing that we’ve added to the squad.

Young brings the experience and versatility that is needed with such a young group, particularly after we saw the likes of Taylor and Elmohamady move on, while Tuanzebe solidifies our defensive options more centrally after the departure of Engels.

Villa have arguably replaced more than added to the squad this past summer, but we’ve upgraded in many instances and as a result we are right to aim higher this season and eye further progression.

Dean Smith has also seen the squad trimmed in the final week or so of the window with a string of our talented youngsters moving out on loan while some of the fringe players have moved on too as we’ve reduced the numbers and focused on a core group of players who will play pivotal roles for us this season and beyond.

Importantly though for those coming through our Academy, the business done and the gaps that perhaps exist are arguably not coincidences, as it offers a pathway for them to break into the senior side.

With that in mind, it’s a solid 8 out of 10 for this transfer window as once the entire squad is available to Smith, we should see a more dynamic attack and if we lose key players along the way, we have enough depth to adequately replace them and remain competitive.

Time will tell if that comes to fruition as it’s all talk for now, and although we’ve made a stuttering start to the season, there is a lot to look forward to after the international break as we’ll absolutely improve as the weeks go on and a disrupted pre-season and our current injury blows will become a distant memory.