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So What Next For Aston Villa – Who Stays, Who Goes, Who Comes In

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Not long to go until the start of the next season, so I hope the powers that be already have plans in place to ensure Aston Villa enjoy a far more comfortable 2020/21 campaign.

Writer: DeanoVilla

In terms of expiring contracts, I think I’m right in saying it’s only Pepe Reina and Matija Sarkic who are leaving (along with the released list published a few weeks ago).

We have eight players whose contracts are due to end in 2021…

Conor Hourihane
Neil Taylor
Keinan Davis
Ahmed Elmohamady
Henri Lansbury
Orjan Nyland
James Bree

I’d be trying to cash in on all of those except Hourihane (who I’d be offering a 1 or 2 year extension to).

It’s gonna be peanuts… average of 500k per player maybe, but that’s still £3.5 million, plus all those wages off the books.

Vital Villa’s So what next? Who Stays? Who Goes? Who Comes In? Forum Thread

I’d also be looking to sell Mbawana Samatta or Wesley (given Wesley’s injury and the price we paid we might struggle to sell him), so likely to be Samatta.

Marvelous Nakamba and Bjorn Engels…wouldn’t be sad to see any of those two sold if we can get our money back or close to.

So that’s 8-10 players out…potentially £20 million in + whatever Wes and Nas are prepared to put into the recruitment pot.

Obviously a lot depends on what happens with Jack Grealish, but let’s assume he’s staying, what do we then need to add?

I think we’re ok in goal. Tom Heaton will be back fit, Jed Steer is a capable Number 2 and we must have a decent youngster in reserve.

Fred Guilbert has been hit and miss, so if Elmo is sold due to his contract running out, then I think a new RB is a priority.

Would love to see an experienced CB to come in and partner Tyrone Mings. Get rid of Engels, and Ezri Konsa used as 3rd choice. Kortney Hause can stay as a squad player.

LB also a priority. Matt Targett isn’t good enough, but I’d keep him for backup.

Central midfield I think we’re pretty much ok. Douglas Luiz, John McGinn and Grealish…maybe a replacement for Hourihane who can then be a good squad player and if Nakamba goes then a backup for Luiz.

The biggest priority for me is the front three. Trezeguet, Ahmed El Ghazi, Wesley, Samatta, Davis… none have been good enough this season. I’d keep Trez and El Ghazi as backups but bring two more wide players in.



Eight players. Gotta be paying big bucks for them to get the quality we need, so £20mill+ per player at least.

I think that’s realistic. Surely we can stretch to £160 million outlay?

In terms of names…I’d be going all out for Callum Wilson. He’s only 28, Premier League proven, recently playing for England and was heavily linked to Chelsea not long ago. Break the bank for him.

Said Benrahma finally to come and sort out one of the wide positions…

Emiliano Buendia from Norwich to replace Hourihane?

No idea for the rest…. any ideas?

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  • RL says:

    Abraham – not going to get game time at Chelsea
    Mitrovic – needs to be in the Prem if Fulham don’t make it thru playoffs
    Ollie Watkins – if Brentford don’ make it thru the playoffs
    Tunzabe – never getting a game at MU

    I would also not go shopping in Belgium unless its on loan with an option to buy

    • Rodney Kemp says:

      Need another CB like Scott McKenna at Aberdeen.
      Go for British players and not players who come from the Belgium, North African Countries. They take too long to adjust to the EPL

      • John Longstaff says:

        Yes benrahma , maybe Cantwell , Tammy back can’t see him getting much game time at Chelsea, 2 proven goal scorers, mitrovic, Wilson , left back and right back plus another decent CB

  • The Villan says:

    I’d be moving out Nyland, Engels, Bree, Lansbury, Jota and loaning out Davis and Vassilev.

    Then inwards I’d like to see the following:
    ST – Mitrovic or someone with similar attributes. If Fulham aren’t promoted I think he’d be realistic.
    LW – Benrahma
    RW – Not sure of who but we need two wingers with Trez and El Ghazi deputising.
    DM – Although Luiz has massively improved, I think Nakamba is nowhere near good enough to be the main anchor man at PL level so in tougher games and away games especially, we need an imposing figure next to Luiz. Billing from Bournemouth wouldn’t be a bad shout but someone like him with height and athleticism.
    CB – Again not sure of who but perhaps a more experienced defender from abroad who could come in and partner Mings, with Konsa deputising. Konsa’s been great these last few games but I wouldn’t want to go into the new season relying on the same backline that conceded so many goals for the majority of the season.

    We need competition and to weed out the weaker links who become squad players and replace them with the kind of quality that can see us not have to worry about relegation next season.

  • DavidAVFC says:

    Renew: Hourihane

    Loans: Davis, Taylor, Lansbury, Elmo

    Sell: Nyland, Bree, Jota

    Buy: LB, LW, ST, RB

    This all changes depending on Outgoings. I doubt we will spend more than 100 million and I think about 30-40 will be on a new striker.

  • Alex says:

    Realistic signings hopefully:

    Hernandez (Norwich)
    Josh King
    & whoever the best two full backs in The championship were last season.

    Don’t want to see us sign anyone that’s plying their trade overseas tbh.

    • Tf says:

      Dacoure would be good next to Luiz

    • John Longstaff says:

      Yes all of the above would fit totally agree, let’s not waste our time and money by going overseas, Dacoure would be good, we need 2 strikers who can get us 20 goals a piece

  • David Henderson says:

    Let’s face it, Villa, as much as we love them, are a team in the premier league as against being a premier league side. We also have to be brutally honest. Aside from Grealish, McGinn, Mings, Konsa and Guilbert, none of the other squad players are frankly good enough for this level and all need to be fazed out, some with more urgency than others. The problem of course is who does one replace them with, because the choice out there is extremely limited. The most urgent is the strike force, because Villa have shown this season that they are simply toothless going forward. The current crop of Davis, Wesley, Samatta and El Ghazi just don’t ever look like scoring, even if the team were to play all night, so dismal is this foursome … so where will the goals come from ?? That’s the big challenge moving forward.

  • Robert says:

    The naivete of this article is laughable and the fact that you need to keep squads together as much as possible is evident with teams as Sheffield United. Add three players tops and go again I wouldn’t sell anybody no point for the return we would get no point losing 6 players for under 5 million to get one or two in. Time to get real

  • MPavfc says:

    Starting from the back, hopefully we can find a buyer for Kalinic, probably only a loan again. Nyland made a decent account for himself, selling him for 1-2mil should be realistic.
    Fullbacks. Time to go for Taylor and Elmo. Not convinced by Targett. I would raid Norwich for both Lewis and Aarons, they would give Guilbert and Targett a fair fight.
    Mings and Konsa to remain starters. Midfield central get rid of Lansbury. Lewis Cook or Doucoure or instead a better backup on the cheap like Swift of Reading. Wingers are for me the key area to adress. Although its a tough one i would sell Trez if bids come in for him. Sarr of Watford would be one hell of a signing. Would also like us to bid for David Brooks.
    Not sure we will sign new strikers. Dont mind seeing Samatta go tho. Maybe find a clever option in Idah of Norwich to sumplement Wes.

  • Chris says:

    Elmo and Hourihane need to stay, as we’ve seen when they play we look like an improved team, if we are to ship out anyone its Nyland, Kalinic, Engels Jota and Lansbury maybe Samatta, but there’s a lot to be said about keeping a squad together.

    Who should we sign in my opinion…
    Reina, he looked like he was so loved by all the players, imagine Heaton 1 and him as number 2 that would defiantly push both to be class and both on last club scenario. (I also appreciate that signing Reina is not a priority, just think hes been great around the club)

    Central defenders and full backs, Lloyd Kelly, Diego Rico, Max Arrons, Tuanzebe, Ethan Ampadu the list goes on

    Midfielder, I’m not convinced by Nakamba and I don’t think Lansbury has a future and Hourihane as great as he is isn’t long term anymore, so maybe Patrick Billing, Dacoure, Beundia, Cantwell again list could go on.

    Wingers ultimately we should be all over Benrahma and Joe Lolley, Snodgrass (we all loved him at Villa) El Ghazi and Trezeguet are not the answer, if a foreign club offers good money for them we should sell. Ryan Fraser, Harry Wilson there’s loads out there who are potentially better.

    Striker, Tammy!! Callum Wilson. Ollie Watkins, Mitrovic, Dwight Gayle.

    We need to sign premiership experience not players from Belgium, or low quality European leagues.

    As much as possible keep the bulk of the squad together, there’s obviously a few that are not good enough, but selling players like Jota, Elmo, Taylor and Lansbury for 500k each probably isnt really worth it just run the contracts down.

  • Lee Grew says:

    The problem we will face at Villa, is attracting top quality players. Money isnt an issue with our owners and Prem football secured. I like Smith and think he deserves another chance at building a squad and pushing on. But, if your a talented player and you have Villa, Leeds & Everton interested, where are you going? are you going to Villa under Smith or are you going to Leeds to learn from Bielsa or Everton to learn from Ancelloti?? It wont be easy to attract the kind of quality our squad needs. Yes, if we can keep Grealish that will help as that shows intent from the club. That in its self is a catch 22, as i see Grealish wanting reassurance from the board that we are going to get in top players, surely any top player will want reassurance we are keeping players like Grealish before they make a decision.

  • Phil h says:

    So with the shortest period between seasons you are suggesting we do what got us in this position in the first place – sell and replace.
    If we don’t stop this shitty cycle we are in then we will never get anywhere and you will all be moaning about why are we at the bottom fighting for survival and how Do we have a bunch of players not playing as a team.
    We moan about our club not learning lesson, I think it’s about time our fans started to as well, you never know the negativity that appears when everything’s not going the way YOU want it too may go away

  • Terry D says:

    Couldn’t agree more with Phil H – this season was always going to be about whether the gamble of buying so many players and getting them playing as a team in the toughest league on the planet would work. Post lockdown and especially the last four games that gamble paid off (just). The performance against the gooners was that of a team who could fight their corner on the prem, organised, hard to beat and playing for each other. Too much change now would be a backward step and throw a lot of the hard work from Deano and JT in the bin.
    Don’t forget we had the spine of the team ripped out – Heaton, McGinniesta and Wesley – all coming back, and we need to give Wesley a chance to get back into his stride (he was getting there!). So for me, maximum 3/4 players in and very few exits.
    Max Aarons in, Elmo out, big love to Elmo but that time is coming and Brucie will sign him, it’s what he does. Good competition for Freddie.
    A pacy striker to give us the option to change things up off the bench, got to be Callum Wilson
    El Ghazi out, sorry but not consistent enough, Benrahma in
    Doucoure in, see how Marvellous develops but listen to offers.
    Yes, I am deliberately raiding relegated sides, the last thing we need is more players who need to adjust to the prem and it’s potentially fire-sale prices

  • Tony J says:

    We will have problems if we try to sell Elmohamady, Taylor and Lansbury because they will only attract Championship clubs, but their wages will be prohibitive to any interested party – remember things look financially dire outside the PL. I would rate the three’s worth in the order I have listed, starting with the best. I think all will run out the last year of their deals.

    Hogan is another tricky one to move on, but is younger and is a striker. Still difficult to shift permanently.

    I have never felt El Ghazi was as good as many of the forum members reckoned. I don’t really think his heart is in it. In fact all three recruited wingers (Trezeguet and Jota too), for various reasons, appeared to be compromises, driven by our budget last time around. It may be impractical to move on all three of them with Trez most likely to have takers.

    Bree seems keen to go back to Luton, but this would likely be a loan again. I would rather sell if some other club is keen enough to cover a modest fee and his wages. It is a shame he hasn’t clicked with us, given his age.

    I would keep Hourihane. Not quite good enough to be a PL first team regular, but his set pieces are good, certainly much better than Grealish’s efforts. The captain squandered an ideal free kick for the Irishman yesterday.

    Nyland always leaves me worried. I would have preferred Steer and Sarkic behind Heaton. Might be a bit early for Sinisalo as a number three.

    As for incoming players, that could be affected by any enforced/unwelcomed departures, but that aside, I don’t see a vast number coming in. I would think CF, at least one winger, CM and, possibly, a LB. I would certainly go with a new LB because Targett looks more like a LM to me. Taylor, on the other hand, struggles going toward. I know Hause could cover, but I would prefer to keep two left footed CMs available.

    A few possible options from the domestic market (off the top of my head):

    LB: Rico, Kelly, Lewis
    CM: Billings, Doucoure, Pereira
    LW/RW: Sarr (cost the Hornets £34M), Benrahama, Buendia
    CF: King, Iheanacho, Mitrovic

    I can see the appeal of Callum Wilson, but he is injury prone and, bar last season, has not been a prolific scorer.

    Realistically, we are not going to blow £160M or as much as we did in the last transfer window. That is not to say we won’t spend a decent amount, but it will likely be split only 4 or 5 ways. The aim must be quality, although a regular goal scorer won’t come cheap. I just hope Suso isn’t pulling all the strings.

  • Terry D says:

    Brucie buys Elmo, its the law.

  • barry'sboots says:

    I like your thinking BUT I don’t think we will have £160m to spend (don’t think we could stay within ffp if we did that!) and I don’t think we will get some of the players we want for 20m. I don’t think we can necessarily get to top 6 in one transfer window so we have to focus on quality and priorities and plan to get there over a couple of windows.

    I think the main priorities are, on the basis that, as you say, Jack stays:
    – two new wingers. Would love Benrhama and Rashica, who looks a talent (60m combined).
    – a no. 9. I was thinking Mitrovic (probably 30m).
    Other areas:
    – two full backs to compete at, say, 10m each. It would be great to upgrade but I don’t t think this is an immediate priority given that the back four has looked pretty solid since lockdown.
    – I like the look/sound of Swift from Reading (as back up for McGinn).
    – I am hopeful that we can introduce Ramsay given that he has made an immediate impact on loan but that is my heart and not my head as I haven’t seen the kid properly.

    I would look to sell El Ghazi, Samatta, Hogan, Jota, Lansbury, Hourihane (because he has value), Bree, Taylor, Elmo, Kalasanic and Nyland. Not sure on Trez – he has obviously looked better lately. Could raise a chunk to offset gross spend.

    • Mike Field says:

      We could’ve spent more last season is the common consensus, but we had to balance the upheaval again of being relegated and balancing 2 years in EFL against 1 in Prem – we roughly spent revenue so we balanced. We can absolutely spend £150ish mil again next season, the main concern is the stipulations about year on year wage growth. We are now truly in the realms of ‘pay the fine’ worst case.

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