It’s expected that Aston Villa will seek to be active in the transfer market when the January transfer window opens.
Six points from the nine on offer is a very promising return at the beginning of Steven Gerrard’s reign, and it’s lifted them away from immediate danger, though the directive is beyond just survival for ambitious owners NSWE in the long run.
To that end, the recruitment drive is ongoing and constantly improving the squad remains the target.
Gerrard was intent on spending the first six weeks of his Villa tenure assessing the squad he’d inherited from Dean Smith when he succeeded him in charge, and sporting director Johan Lange has since indicated that Villa as a club will always be striving for improvements.
“What we will promise is in the background we’ll have private conversations and we’re always striving to be better in every department,” Lange said recently. “I think we’re always working every day of the year to identify players with the potential of coming in to strengthen Aston Villa.
“We will work closely (with Steven) over the next six weeks to analyse the situation and we will be well prepared as we always are, if we find it is relevant to go into the market in January.”
Gerrard will meet Jurgen Klopp and Liverpool, the club where he holds a legendary status, before this month is out – are there any players he could return to Anfield for to strengthen his Villa group?
The Japanese international signed for Liverpool in January 2020 and was loaned to Premier League rivals Southampton in January 2021 – might another winter move be on the cards?
Playmaker Minamino has always only ever been on the cusp of the starting XI. He’s started just four times since arriving almost two years ago, but he is currently the next cab off the rank beyond regulars Mohamed Salah, Sadio Mane, Roberto Firmino and Diogo Jota.
Liverpool have previous form for letting Minamino out on loan, and Villa’s existing wide options are currently at differing levels of fitness – Leon Bailey, Bertrand Traore and Trezeguet are not at 100% and won’t be for some time yet.
The potential availability of young midfielder Jones will largely be dependent on where he is in terms of his recovery from an eye injury picked up in a Champions League meeting with Atletico Madrid last month.
Villa are pretty well stocked in midfield, though they are set to lose in-form Marvelous Nakamba to international duty when the Cup of African Nations begins early next year. Morgan Sanson and Jacob Ramsey are currently complementing regulars Douglas Luiz and John McGinn.
Jones, though, does fit the profile of the sort of player who Villa have moved for in recent windows – the England under 21 international also worked closely under Gerrard during his time working in the Reds youth set-up.
A player who has already been linked with Villa since Gerrard was appointed last month.
Gomez is an England hopeful who wants to ensure that he is in Gareth Southgate’s thoughts ahead of the Qatar World Cup next winter, and he’ll know that in Axel Tuanzebe, Tammy Abraham and Ross Barkley, Villa can accommodate players on the peripheries of the top clubs in England.
With the change in management at Manchester United, the future of Tuanzebe has come under the spotlight, though it’s likely that he will remain at Villa Park for the remainder of the season at least.
At any rate, Gomez is on the fringes at Anfield, behind the likes of Virgil Van Dijk and Joel Matip, and his versatility makes him an attractive proposition.
Do Villa need more firepower?
Origi has been at Liverpool since 2015 and he’s played over 150 games in that time, but the Belgian international has never been a regular in the side and the bulk of his league appearances have been from the bench.
Still only 26, Origi has been well out of the first-team picture in a Premier League sense this season and he’s played just 16 league minutes at the time of writing.
Villa have spent nearly £60m in the last two summers on Ollie Watkins and Danny Ings, but Keinan Davis could be permitted a loan move of his own in the January transfer window.
Villa have been linked with Origi previously.
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