Date: 26th July 2019 at 6:00am
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It’s been a busy summer at Villa Park. Ten senior players have been shipped out, while nine have arrived on permanent deals with the prospect of a couple more to come before the window shuts on 8th August.

Early signs have been encouraging, with Villa remaining unbeaten in the three pre-season fixtures so far. Nine goals scored and only one conceded represents a good return, albeit against (with all due respect) less-than-challenging opposition.

Among the raft of new signings, two players, in particular, have stood out, with Jota and Wesley turning in impressive displays in the matches so far and both players opened their Villa accounts, with each scoring twice in the 5-1 win at Walsall.

Jota in particular appears to have settled quickly into life at Villa Park, forming an encouranginly energetic partnership with Fredéric Guilbert down the right-hand side, recapturing the form he showed under Dean Smith when the pair were at Brentford.

Record signing Wesley has also caught the eye, showing strength, mobility and finesse in the games so far and thoroughly deserved his two goals against Walsall, including an emphatic penalty. He also showed hard-work and awareness in setting up Jack Grealish for Villa’s fifth.

Former Villa striker Stan Collymore also likes the look of the big Brazilian forward, commenting on Twitter that he’s seen enough of Wesley to suggest that he will hurt defenders this season provided Villa’s midfield can find him early, something we can manage with “the speed of thought” of Jack Grealish and Jota.

So hopes are high for Villa’s new attacking force, and with Anwar El Ghazi and Mahmoud ‘Trezeguet’ Hassan also bolstering our forward options, creating chances and scoring goals, so vital for competing (and not just surviving) in the Premier League, should not prove a problem this season.

I still feel we need another striker before the window closes (Neil Maupay continues to be linked) as I’m not convinced Jonathan Kodjia, Scott Hogan or Keinan Davis are adequate cover should Wesley pick up injuries or suspensions. But we are certainly stronger in forward areas than last season, with respect to Tammy Abraham’s significant contribution.

Two weeks from today, we will have a final picture of the squad for the season but I’m as positive as I’ve been for many years. In the words of John ‘Hannibal’ Smith, “I love it when a plan comes together!

Previous Article by JPA – Reactions to Villa’s pre-season so far

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