Date: 4th August 2018 at 3:46pm
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Aston Villa manager Steve Bruce held his first pre-match press conference of the summer on Friday afternoon and with the club releasing the shirt numbers for the coming 2018/19 campaign, we can take a stab at where he’s looking to strengthen whilst the summer transfer window remains open.

Bruce admitted that with summer departures seeing players move on as their contracts expired or their loans last season expire, he was five or six players short of where he’d like the squad to be, but he’s confident that one or two deals will come off for him with approaches being made following on from the arrival of goalkeeper Andre Moreira the other day.

The implication seemed to be permanent deals, as he spoke of the potential for more once the deadline shuts but the loan window itself remained open.

With the club also releasing the shirt numbers ahead of Monday evening’s clash with Hull City as we open the year properly, although shirt numbers aren’t as reliable as they used to be, I think it’s safe to say the numbers missing provide a good indication of the types of players he’s looking to bring in this year.

2. Ritchie De Laet
3. Neil Taylor
5. James Chester
6. Glenn Whelan
8. Henri Lansbury
9. Scott Hogan
10. Jack Grealish
12. Jed Steer
14. Conor Hourihane
15. Mile Jedinak
16. James Bree
17. Keinan Davis
19. Andre Green
20. Birkir Bjarnason
21. Alan Hutton
23. Andre Moreira
24. Tommy Elphick
25. Gary Gardner
26. Jonathan Kodjia
27. Ahmed Elmohamady
29. Rushian Hepburn-Murphy
31. Mark Bunn
33. Matija Sarkic
37. Albert Adomah

Numbers 1, 4, 7, and 11 standout for the traditionalists amongst us and James Chester returns as skipper once more.

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