Aston Villa boss Steven Gerrard will reportedly oversee a shake-up of the squad but Ollie Watkins and John McGinn are unlikely to leave the club.
Villa’s season came to a disappointing end on Sunday with a 3-2 defeat to Manchester City, a result which leaves us in 14th place in the Premier League table.
While a top-half finish was the objective for Gerrard and the players, we ultimately fell short of that and so now the focus switches to the summer transfer window to strengthen the squad and allow Gerrard to really stamp his mark on it.
Philippe Coutinho was confirmed as our first summer signing last week after he joined on a permanent deal following his loan spell from Barcelona, while as per the link above, Boubacar Kamara is expected to be the next player through the door.
However, there will also be exits, as The Telegraph report that Matt Targett, Morgan Sanson, Bertrand Traore, Anwar El Ghazi, Trezeguet and Kortney Hause are all set to be available for transfer this summer.
In contrast, it’s noted that Villa don’t expect any significant exits, as although the likes of Watkins and McGinn have interest from elsewhere, they are likely to stay and continue to play an important role in the squad. Further, it’s added that despite the interest in Kamara, Leeds Utd midfielder Kalvin Phillips remains a ‘leading target’.
Beyond the playing squad, an additional important note made in the report is that Villa are said to be confident of keeping assistant coach Michael Beale at the club amid interest from Championship and League One clubs.
As an important part of Gerrard’s staff, it’s crucial that Villa keep it intact beyond this summer and allow them to build, and so this in itself would be a major boost for the club.
Time will tell how the squad changes over the coming weeks and months, but it’s clear that Gerrard has ambitions and desire to make vital changes to build on his first few months in charge and take us further up the table next season.
Having had an extensive opportunity to now look at and assess those players who have been at his disposal, he and his staff are in a much better position to make informed decisions on who is good enough to form part of the group in the long-term picture, and it’s hoped that combined with reinforcements, Villa will be able to kick on next year.