Date: 26th January 2019 at 1:32pm
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According to Birmingham Live, Dean Smith ‘has been assured’ that Aston Villa have ‘funds available’ to spend in the January transfer window. Time is fast running out for the Midlands outfit to compete deals, but Smith does have the back of the owners to strengthen the squad wherever he sees fit.

Despite the club struggling in the Championship, it’s unlikely Smith will panic buy and sign a player who is only a temporary solution to a problem. Lovre Kalinic was signed because Smith had lost faith in Orjan Nyland and wanted better goalkeeper competition than Mark Bunn.

Kortney Hause was signed because Villa were short on centre-backs. If Hause impresses at Villa Park, his loan move could be made permanent – further evidence that Smith wants to build a squad that can stay the same for a few years.

And while the Villa manager may have the funds available, he doesn’t have the time to bolster every necessary position – goalkeeper and centre-back were the priority, but a creative central midfielder, creative winger and striker were also needed.

Jack Grealish’s injury has exposed the squad for a lack of creativity, with Conor Hourihane unable to fill his shoes. Yannick Bolasie and Anwar El Ghazi have both left a lot to be desired, leading to Bolasie to cut his loan move short. And a striker will be key due to Tammy Abraham only being a loan player.

Jonathan Kodjia and Scott Hogan haven’t set the place alight this season either.

Crippy Cooke’s previous article

Key Aston Villa player is ‘some way off’ returning, could miss Ipswich and Reading games

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