Aston Villa are reportedly expected not to exercise their option to sign both Jan Bednarek and Ludwig Augustinsson on a permanent basis next summer.
The pair joined us in the summer transfer window on season-long loan deals, with former Villa boss Steven Gerrard looking to add experience and depth to his squad.
Having since been replaced by Unai Emery, the Spaniard will no doubt have his own plans and ideas for the squad and will want to stamp his mark on the group by bringing in his own players.
It’s unclear if he has officially made his decision already, as it seems quite quick for him to decide that neither Bednarek nor Augustinsson feature in his plans moving forward having only taken his first training session a fortnight ago, but as per reporter Ekrem Konur, Villa aren’t considering signing the defensive duo permanently.
If accurate, it remains to be seen if the pair can change the club’s stance between now and the end of the season or if indeed we decide to move in a different direction, as it could also potentially be an indication that the transfer policy at the club will be changed under Emery and we might go for a different profile of player.
Bednarek and Augustinsson do offer experienced back-up options at centre-half and left-back respectively, but particularly in the latter’s case, he has struggled to make a positive impression when involved.
Further, with plenty of competition for places already in that department with Ashley Young capable of playing at left-back and with the likes of Tyrone Mings, Ezri Konsa, Diego Carlos and Calum Chambers already in the squad to play in the middle, it’s unclear if Bednarek is necessarily an important part of the squad moving forward.
In turn, there is certainly sense in the touted decision from Villa, and if we do opt to replace them next summer, it’s hoped that we have a longer-term strategy in mind to add real talent and perhaps even open the door for some of our youngsters to come through and offer depth and competition instead.