Aston Villa’s manager Paul Lambert is clearly doing his best to offload both Hutton and Warnock but at this late stage it could be a matter of one, both or even none leaving the club, and the players themselves won’t have any idea what’s happening right now. What we do know, is that neither are in Paul’s plans. So it would be wise to bring in another fullback, and a versatile one at that. Unfortunately, with neither Hutton nor Warnock’s wages definitely off the bill, we can’t afford to splash out. A budding youngster much like Lowton would fit the bill with Kyle Naughton being the first choice before he signed a new contract at Spurs.
If Alan Pardew can complete the signing of Mathui Debuchy in time then he will be looking to let go of Danny Simpson. Whilst the ex-United right back may be solid and off the back of a great season, his wages and value may prove difficult to manoeuvre. My wildcard pick would be Standard Liege fullback Daniel Opare. The Ghana international moved to Belgium after a couple of years with Real Madrid Castilla, where he was highly rated. He’s well known in his home country, but whilst he’s shining for Liege at the raw age of 21, he’s doing it in a league that doesn’t get much publicity. He could be available for just a couple of million, and fits the bill perfectly in my opinion.
[Middlesbrough’s Joe Bennett favourite at the moment – MOMS]
At Norwich, Lambert never had a “sitting midfielder” as such, that just breaks up play. His central midfielders are comfortable in possession and that’s the way it will be at Villa Park. With El Ahmadi and Delph, we have deep ball-winning playmakers, and in Ireland, Gardner and Bannan, forward-thinking midfielders. We actually have enough in there with Albrighton, Holman and N’Zogbia patrolling the wings.
It would however be nice to bring in someone with a bit of experience that can provide options in front of the back four, as well as at centre half, where we only really have three options in Vlaar, Dunne and Clark. Paul Scharner could have been an option before his move to Hamburg, but again, my plucked-from-mid-air-shout would be Tomas Hubschman of Shakhtar Donetsk. Whilst post-MON era this might have seemed a tad ambitious, the Czech Republic international is 31 in September and hasn’t played as regularly for the Ukranian club over the past few years. Comfortable at either centre half or defensive midfield, Hubschman could be just the ticket.
[Charlton’s Dale Stephens looks to be in the midfield mix too – MOMS]
Talk of Christian Benteke has filled the national papers over the last 24 hours and I’m not going to beat around the bush or argue with Lambert, he’d be perfect. We have a goalscorer in Bent, and a quicker option in Agbonlahor, but we’re in need of that big man since Heskey departed [we were in need of one before he departed too! – MOMS]. But Benteke is not a lump, he’s 6’5 and good in the air, but he’s also quick and can score goals. This could be one that goes down to the wire, but if we can seal the deal, Big Ben could be the perfect foil for Big Bent.
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