According to the Sydney Herald, Aston Villa are one of many clubs to have ‘watched’ Josh Risdon and Brandon O’Neill ‘in action’ in the Australian A-league and are ‘considering making moves’ next summer. The report states that both players have ‘expressed a desire’ to test themselves in Europe.
Risdon has made seven A-League appearances and three FFA Cup outings for Western Sydney this season whom he joined from Perth Glory on a free transfer in 2017. Midfielder O’Neill has made seven league appearances and played in five FFA Cup matches for Sydney FC.
The two A-League players know each well from their time at Perth Glory, with Risdon spending eight years at the Perth Oval between 2009 & 2017 and O’Neill being at the club for three years between 2012 & 2015, and they could renew acquaintances with a new club next summer.
Dean Smith has a greater immediate need to strengthen Villa’s options at left-back and centre-back, but with Alan Hutton being out of contract next summer and Ahmed Elmohamady not commanding a starting place, the Midlands outfit may need a right-back for the 2019/20 season.
The alleged interest in O’Neill is surprising, however, as Villa are blessed with a lot of options in midfield – John McGinn, Conor Hourihane, Glenn Whelan, Henri Lansbury, Mile Jedinak, Birkir Bjarnason.