From past seasons, sometimes the announcement of the squad numbers is a bit like reading the tea leaves for signs of Villa player’s future roles in the season ahead.
Over recent years, we’ve seen the bomb squad openly announced by their shirt numbers and at the start of the 2013/14 campaign, the decision to begin the season without a No.9. No wonder Villa struggled for goals.
So what clues do the Aston Villa squad numbers of 2017/18 offer up?
First off, Jack Grealish getting the No.10 shirt is a clear indication that Steve Bruce was indeed serious about giving the former No.40, a crack at the attacking midfield role.
More than likely behind a lone striker in a potential 4-2-3-1.
This just exaggerates the unfortunate timing of Grealish’s recent kidney injury, as this was potentially a defining season in terms of the attacking midfielder proving himself.
It would have been interesting to see if his new number would have added any swagger and confidence to his play, after being identified by Bruce as a main man.
Former Villa captain, Jame Chester also gets a proper first 11 number (for the old school supporters out there), taking the No.5 shirt.
The switch to the iconic centre-back number caught at least one Villan out, who opted to have Chester printed on the back of his shirt.
While 80% of new shirt sales have gone with Terry on the back, it’s good to see a supporter get a player, who last season proved himself to be Villa’s most consistent and earnest performer.
He’s about the only Villa player no fans have got any gripes with!
Interestingly, Chris Samba takes the No.4 shirt, suggesting he’s in Bruce’s thoughts and not simply squad filler.
Expect Samba to rotate in the centre-back berths and feature against teams with more physical centre-forwards.
Sam Johnstone wears the No.1 shirt, as expected, while Steer looks to be the Villa No.2, with the 13 shirt.
John Terry takes his traditional No.26, while Jonathan Kodjia opting for No.22. Personally, if I was him, I’d have insisted on the No.9 shirt. He’s the only player currently at the club worthy of the number.
Glenn Whelan is the new No.6, while Ahmed Elmohamady is No.27.
Henri Lansbury moves from No.5 to No.8 to accommodate Chester and also to have a more fitting number to his position.
Other Interesting Numbers
Leandro Bacuna keeps the No.7 jersey, suggesting at least in terms of traditional squad numbers, he’s in Bruce’s plans and should at least be on the bench.
Ritchie De Laet, previously No.27 last season, takes the traditional right-back No.2, despite recovering from injury and the squad having both James Bree and Alan Hutton contesting the position.
Is this a surprise? In MOMS book, yes.
It’s certainly going to be interesting how the battle for right-back progresses throughout the season, with Alan Hutton currently in pole position.
Having three right-backs is a luxury for a squad. Will one depart in the summer window?
Check out the full Aston Villa squad number list below.
Aston Villa Squad Numbers 2017/18
2. Ritchie De Laet
3. Neil Taylor
4. Chris Samba
5. James Chester
6. Glenn Whelan
Leandro Bacuna Robert Snodgrass
8. Henri Lansbury
9. Scott Hogan
10. Jack Grealish
11. Gabriel Agbonlahor
13. Jed Steer
14. Conor Hourihane
15. Mile Jedinak
16. James Bree
17. Micah Richards
19. Andre Green
20. Birkir Bjarnason
21. Alan Hutton
22. Jonathan Kodjia
24. Tommy Elphick
26. John Terry
27. Ahmed Elmohamady
31. Mark Bunn
37. Albert Adomah
39. Keinan Davis
44. Ross McCormack
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30 players. Only De Laet and Green from the youths. We still have the same problems. Far too many players. More out on loan. The manager and the other highly paid officials and the owner have failed yet again miserably in getting rid of the crap. The only players who can score are injured. Will Bruce finally alter the pattern of play so we actually get balls and players in the box. The close and pre season suggests otherwise. Well let’s hope Saturday proves me wrong. We must get off to a good start or the season may be the same as last.
Hutton seems to have a plan . He’s already retired from the Scotland squad to concentrate on Villa but only has a year left on his contract so perhaps is ??? looking for a staff job ? Bree is only 19/20 so has plenty of time to seal his place in squad , & de Laet does not have to rush his recovery
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