Aston Villa wrapped up the 2022 summer transfer window with the signings of Leander Dendoncker and Jan Bednarek on deadline day, as we look back and assess our business.
Our work in strengthening the squad started almost instantly following the conclusion of last season with Philippe Coutinho signed on a permanent basis from Barcelona, while Boubacar Kamara soon followed on a free transfer from Marseille.
Diego Carlos arrived to bolster our defence, before Robin Olsen was also signed permanently following his loan spell with us last season as Ludwig Augustinsson was added to the ranks on loan.
We had to wait a little longer for the next new arrivals with both Dendoncker and Bednarek arriving on transfer deadline day, while there was a boost with the news that Douglas Luiz is still with us amid strong speculation over an exit albeit with his contract expiring next summer, it could merely be a matter of time before he moves on.
Villa did green light countless loan deals though for the likes of Tim Iroegbunam, Kaine Kesler-Hayden, Kortney Hause and Bertrand Traore as we trimmed the squad down, while Carney Chukwuemeka, Anwar El Ghazi, Matt Targett and Trezeguet left permanently as we recouped decent fees to balance our books.
Promising start, underwhelming finish from Villa transfer strategy
One of the more impressive and important aspects of our early business for the likes of Carlos and Kamara was that those moves were evidently well thought-out and part of a bigger strategy.
We addressed key areas in the squad that were considered weaknesses with top players, and it was a case of quality over quantity as we complemented what we already had.
Signing Coutinho on a permanent basis has yet to deliver the desired results given his struggles so far this season but was seemingly the right call given his influence last year, while Olsen will continue to be a reliable and experienced option as back-up to Emiliano Martinez.
With Ben Chrisene sent out on loan, Augustinsson adds depth at left-back, and so that part of our transfer window can be considered smart, sensible work.
However, with results on the pitch not going the way we’d hoped for to start the Premier League season, the late business for Dendoncker and Bednarek felt more reactionary than planned, while we’d already weakened the squad by letting players go and not using those already at Gerrard’s disposal which in turn left them considering their options.
The pair do add solidity, physicality and presence that we’ve been lacking and so it’s hoped that they can make a positive impact, but ultimately it’s now for Gerrard to get the best out of them, something that he hasn’t been able to do with the other players available to him thus far.
Villa have plenty of options across the pitch, and while it doesn’t get any easier with Man City visiting Villa Park this weekend, results have to improve quickly otherwise there could very well be a new man at the helm coaching these players come October.