Going into the few days before Aston Villa kick-off their 2018/19 season, Steve Bruce was confident of getting “two or three over the line” before the transfer window shuts before August 9th and then maybe more loans before that window closes at the end of the month.
Rather than bringing in the old heads, the Villa boss admitted the new owners want to drop the short-termism of the past couple of seasons in the Championship.
“The owners want young, aggressive, hungry players with things to prove,” said Bruce. “That’s their vision.”
So what’s the latest on the those Villa may bring in – FFP permitting – before the window closes next week?
As you would have seen from the missing number ‘1’ in the new Aston Villa squad numbers, reports linking Villa to Norwegian keeper Orjan Nyland. The 27-year-old currently plies his trade with German outfit Ingolstadt. While MOMS has read mixed reviews on the keeper (competent, but not the most commanding despite his size and prone to mistakes), it seems strange that they would loan in Andre Moreira, unless he was at least going to be a number two.
If the Norwegian comes in then that would certainly mean the end for Mark Bunn, who’s last proper contract ended in June this year (is he now on a rolling contract?). Jed Steer, who had expected to be Villa’s number one going into the season, will now be pondering his future when his contract runs out at the end of the season.
Random Midfield links
There’s been several midfielder links in the past week, the main ones being Millwall’s box-to-box man George Saville and Wigan’s Nick Powell. In the case of Powell, in light of FFP, would Villa really cough up the reported £5m, without shipping anyone out?
Considering the likes of Henri Lansbury and Birkir Bjarnason were under used last season, it’s not likely Villa will get any other midfielders in, unless they were significant upgrades or other players were moved out first. Approach rumours with caution.
Due to his injury problems last season, most Villa supporters didn’t even notice Axel Tuanzebe at the club, when he joined us from Manchester United. Bought in by Bruce to cover the backline, if Bruce got him in again surely it would be to cover the centre back berths?
Villa still have a stockpile of right-backs, a position where Tuanzebe got his chance last season. Unless he’s come in to play centre-back, then I think this is a nothing rumour. At centre-back, alongside James Chester, it could be a decent pairing.
It’s perhaps more realistic to see Tuanzebe joining us again than another loanee Robert Snodgrass, due to his manageable wages.
The Grealish Churn
The Grealish press churnalism continues and looks like it will go to deadline day. If he plays against Hull City, then it’s another step in the right direction of Villa keeping him. MOMS has already laid down the logic of what will happen and if he was to go, when the more likely time would be, if you missed it before read MOMS full Grealish thoughts here.
It’s been reported that both QPR and Bolton are interested in taking the once prodigal son of the Villa academy, Gary Gardner, off Villa’s hands. Gardener , who has done ok on loans to Forest and Barnsley in the past, now really needs to get his career going forward with regular football. WBA had been thrown in the mix initially, but that turned out to be a red herring by the press.
In the last MOMS transfer rumour wrap, MOMS mentioned that Chelsea’s Tammy Abraham was probably on Steve Bruce’s shortlist of strikers, because Villa needed one. it was nothing more than an educated guess and grapevine whispers, as the player was still at Chelsea and hadn’t been picked up, after being on loan in previous seasons at Swansea and Bristol City. Later on in the day, the Birmingham Mail for the first time wrote an article saying Villa were interested in Abraham. Then it went viral with every other outlet and their dogs reporting it.
Make of that what you will…