Date: 1st February 2019 at 9:41am
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Aston Villa confirmed the loan signing of Tom Carroll on deadline day and the Midlands outfit have an option to buy the Swansea City midfielder at the end of the season. Dean Smith wasn’t short on options in the engine room and Carroll’s arrival could be bad news for an existing player – Henri Lansbury.

The 28-year-old has struggled for form, fitness and playing time under Smith this season, making just three appearances in all competitions, and may now find himself falling further down the pecking order.

Carroll provides a similar threat to Lansbury, as he’s a ball-playing midfielder with high levels of industry, so Smith might favour the new recruit over the consistently injured equivalent.

Carroll is a composed head in the middle of the park who won’t relinquish possession cheaply and is adept at turning over possession. He’s been short of playing time for a matter of months, however, with his last Championship appearance coming all the way back in October.

Lansbury has only amassed eight minutes of league football this season, however, so it’s hard to see Smith calling upon him over Carroll. Game time alluded him before and opportunities could be few and far between in the last few months of the campaign.

Crippy Cooke’s previous article

Opinion: Dean Smith could drop Aston Villa’s defensive duo after signing Tyrone Mings

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