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Aston Villa’s Chelsea boost as Elphick lifts lid on ‘tough’ Villa Park spell

All your Aston Villa headlines, news and views from BirminghamLive on Sunday, September 5.

Villa could seal transfer coup

The summer transfer window may well have closed, but Aston Villa staff will be keeping one eye on how they could improve their squad in January.

During January clubs often tend to make subtle additions to their squad in order to strengthen their options or to plug any gaps which have appeared during the course of the season.

One area that Dean Smith will possibly be looking to improve already is out-wide.

Villa are spoilt for options on the left-flank with Emi Buendia, Bertrand Traore, Anwar El Ghazi, Trezeguet and Leon Bailey all capable of playing in the position.

Only Bailey is a natural wide-left player, however.

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Ex-Villa skipper on his troubled spell at Villa Park

Former Aston Villa captain Tommy Elphick has lifted the lid on what he describes as a ‘troubled’ three years with the club when he says there was ‘poison in the brickworks.’

Elphick, who recently announced his retirement, joined Villa in June 2016 as the first signing under the short-lived Tony Xia and Roberto Di Matteo era following relegation.

He played his part as the club won promotion to the Premier League in 2018/19, netting the first goal in an opening-day win at Hull City.

Elphick, who also won promotion to the top flight with Bournemouth, has taken up a coaching post with the Cherries and was the club’s guest on their latest podcast.

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Ex-Villa starlet on fire after Euro move

A former Aston Villa winger has taken Slovakian football by storm with four goals in his first few games for his latest club, Slovan Bratislava.

Andre Green rattled in a quick-fire hat-trick – his first of his senior career – for the central European outfit in a 7-0 thumping of Malinec in the cup today, scoring in the 30th, 35th and 53rd minutes.

That followed up an eye-catching debut when he scored against Olympiacos in a Europa League qualifying game in his first appearance for the club.

Green joined Aston Villa at the age of nine and progressed through the club’s academy, going on to make his club and Premier League debut in 2016 in a 2–0 loss to Tottenham Hotspur.

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Expert gives cash boost prediction

A football finance expert believes Aston Villa can expect to go through a commercial ‘growth phase’ after announcing their latest off-field deal.

Villa recently teamed up with investment platform eToro which Kieran Maguire believes will help the club push the income from their commercial and sponsorship ventures to the heights the club enjoyed last time they were in the Premier League.

The last set of accounts revealed the club made £24m from off-field deals for the 2019/20 season – a figure that is expected to grow the more Dean Smith manages to establish the club as a top flight force.

“Villa’s £24m represents what you’d expect for a club in its first year in the Premier League,” Maguire told Football Insider.

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Players of Scotland stand for the national anthem prior to the 2022 FIFA World Cup Qualifier match between Scotland and Moldova at Hampden Park on September 04, 2021 in Glasgow, Scotland. (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)
Aston Villa’s John McGinn (far left) with the Scotland squad standing for the national anthem prior to the 2022 FIFA World Cup Qualifier match between Scotland and Moldova at Hampden Park.

Villa injury boost

Aston Villa star John McGinn helped Scotland get their World Cup ambitions back on track with a ‘must win’ victory over Moldova.

And that’s great news for Dean Smith after the player was forced to sit out the 1-1 draw with Brentford last week after testing positive for Covid-19.

The 26-year-old midfielder missed Wednesday night’s 2-0 international defeat to Denmark in Copenhagen due to isolating, but returned to training with the Scotland squad on Thursday ahead of Saturday’s match at Hampden.

Fortunately he was asymptomatic, revealing: “I didn’t get any symptoms,” and should now be fit to face Chelsea on Saturday.

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