Emery tipped to strengthen two areas of Villa squad

Aston Villa boss Unai Emery could reportedly prioritise strengthening his options in attack as we move closer to the January transfer window.

The 51-year-old enjoyed a winning start to life as Villa boss earlier this month, registering back-to-back victories in the Premier League to provide us with a timely boost.

While there was disappointment in the Carabao Cup, there were certainly plenty of positives to take away from those three games prior to the World Cup break and it’s hoped that we build on that when we return on Boxing Day.

READ MORE: Emery outlines Villa objectives, responds to question on transfer plans

Having made such an ambitious and exciting appointment, the Villa hierarchy will no doubt back Emery in the transfer market when he feels reinforcements are necessary, and it’s said there are two particular areas in which we could see movement.

According to the Daily Mail’s Tom Collomosse, Emery could look to bring in new faces up front and out wide in the final third to begin with, with his former player at Villarreal, Nicolas Jackson, specifically mentioned as a potential transfer target.

With Ollie Watkins, Danny Ings and Cameron Archer available up top, while Leon Bailey, Emiliano Buendia, Jacob Ramsey – and even Philippe Coutinho when he returns from injury – are all options to play on the flanks, the Villa boss seemingly believes more is needed or a reshuffle could be on the cards.

Emery would undoubtedly have spent these last two weeks assessing the players at his disposal, and that process will continue over the next month or so as he gets a chance to work with most of his squad during the break.

It does feel as though we have a lot of quality and depth in that department and his focus thus far has largely been on improving those available to him whom he believes have been underperforming prior to his arrival, so it would arguably be a surprise to see attacking reinforcements arrive in January.

Nevertheless, if he feels as though it would improve us, owners Nassef Sawiris and Wes Edens will no doubt back him, and given the level of competition across the rest of the squad, that would perhaps be the main area in which we would look to strengthen.

Time will tell if that’s the direction in which Emery goes and if Jackson emerges as a realistic solution, but for now, the report above has offered some interesting insight into our plans and how Emery has already made his influence felt at Villa.