Doctor Tony Xia was in B6 recently to get up to speed with Aston Villa’s progress on and off the field and also relay his plans to the board.
While as always a lot of plans, including stadium refurbishment and North Stand rebuilding, completely depend on promotion, one of the more immediate concerns is the January transfer window and what can be done in it to help facilitate the needed promotion.
January Transfer Window Thrift
With Xia and his board spending around £30m on three strikers that are currently not at the club’s disposal, regardless of FFP, you can understand the club’s caution in spending such money again.
Also, buying a striker on a longer term contract to help this season in the Championship, that will also be good enough for the Premier League, if Villa do gain promotion, is tricky. If such a striker is good enough for the Premier League, they’ll want to play there now and not risk not getting promoted with Villa.
With goal of promotion though, Doctor Tony said in a club interview this week, that improving the squad is very much still on the agenda to make sure they get over the line and into the Premier League.
“In terms of strengthening, everyone knows that for January we have the FFP to look at,” said Xia. “But very possibly we will bring in a couple of loans to strengthen our squad. We want to keep getting better and better and help us end the season well.”
Loans are a sensible solution, considering the circumstances, if the right ones are bought in.
So far, Bruce’s summer picks John Terry, Robert Snodgrass, Sam Johnstone and Joshua Onomah have transformed the club and helped get them in the play-off spots.
The bridge to cross later though is while January will be a quiet month, with the main need a loan striker to cover the current injury crisis in that position, summer’s window will be a major one.
Whether Villa are promoted or not, with the amount of key players on one-season loans, or that will be out of contract at the end of the season like Chris Samba and Alan Hutton, there will be wholesale change in the squad next year.
“Very possibly we will bring in a couple of loans to strengthen our squad” – Tony Xia
Then, you have to consider, if Villa don’t get promoted, will James Chester being in his peak years, really want to spend another season in the Championship?
“I hope in the next summer window, if we can go up, there will be a collection of more of my maths equations,” joked the Villa owner.
“Our ambition is that if we go up we won’t be satisfied to just stay there. We want to go back to being one of the elite clubs in the division.
“In order to achieve that, we will have to bring in some high-level players. I know this.”
One things for sure, the January transfer window will certainly be the calm before the summer storm.