Why key Emery factor influencing Villa transfer strategy is crucial

With the transfer deadline edging ever closer, news of Aston Villa being close to further signings is scarce as we wait to see if further reinforcements arrive this month.

While Frederic Guilbert, Jan Bednarek, Morgan Sanson, Cameron Archer and Danny Ings have departed in a mix of loan and permanent exits, Alex Moreno and Jhon Duran remain our only new additions.

READ MORE: Emery open to another exit as Villa would listen to offers for bit-part ace

After being appointed by Villa at the end of October, Unai Emery has now had around three months of working with the squad to get to know his players better, assess what they can offer and where they can improve and ultimately who forms part of his long-term plans at the club.

His impressive start in the Premier League has shown that he can get more from those already at his disposal, and so now it’s about adding players who can help us take that next big step forward.

While he has regularly reiterated the point since his arrival, Emery has spoken about what it is he’s exactly looking for in any new signings, and he has been consistent with the important factor of them having to significantly improve the squad.

“A lot of teams are trying to sign players to improve and keep in the Premier League,” he said after our win over Southampton, as per BBC Sport. “We have only signed one player at the moment. We are, above all, giving our players the opportunity to show they’ve improved with us and then we can add some players to improve the squad and add a better balance to each position.

“We are of course looking for something in the transfer window but we are only going to add a player if it can really, really improve the squad. Some players are going to leave, sure, and we want to add players in the squad as well to add some skills, some capacities, improving the squad.”

Emery has come across as patient, measured and unwavering in his comments on transfers, and at no point has the Villa boss moaned or expressed concern over the group that he inherited or the need to bring in new faces.

Given his track record and experience that he has gained during a glittering coaching career thus far, Villa brought in an elite level coach who firstly wanted to extract as much quality out of his current players as possible. While he has done that and that process will continue, now it’s about fine-tuning his squad and strengthening where necessary.

If his priority targets aren’t available or deals can’t be done this month, so be it. We should wait until the summer, go for quality over quantity and bring in players that Emery really feels can improve us.

That said, there is a need for balance too. It’s fair for some fans to emphasise the fact that we have put ourselves in a position to really challenge for a European qualification spot this season, and so not only do we need depth and competition to kick on from this point, but we should take advantage of the situation and sign players now who can help us achieve that while the opportunity is there.

Nevertheless, the overriding factor in all of this is that there is absolute trust in Emery. There’s trust in his ability to identify who we need and in the club hierarchy to follow that guidance and bring them in. Further, there’s trust in Emery’s judgement on who is shown the exit door, and thus space is made perhaps for more business to be done in the summer for him to really stamp his mark on the squad.

Time will tell if we sign any more players before the deadline. If we do, then it will be because the Villa boss is convinced it puts us in better shape in the long run. If we don’t, then we should have faith in him to continue the excellent work he has done thus far with those available to him, and we wait until the end of the season for the Emery revolution to further intensify.

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