Dean Smith Hints at Several Incoming Players, Loans Manager, Collins Return etc

Lets ignore the woeful 3-0 defeat at Wigan for a second and catch-up on a few recent happenings connected to Aston Villa…

Busy, Busy, Busy

Considering all the talk about FFP and Aston Villa, you’d expect a conservative approach to the rest of the January transfer window for Villa Head Coach, Dean Smith. After a poor start to 2019 though, including both a woeful FA Cup exit and getting battered 3-0 by Wigan (a team who had won only once in their previous 14 games), work needs to be done now to save the season.

When asked recently about how the transfer window was going, Smith made it sound there could be a few more faces coming in.

“There’s things going on at the moment,” Smith said earlier in the week. “Our sporting director is busy at work trying to bring people into the football club.

“We’ve got targets out there and that’ll continue until the end of the window.”

Kodjia’s Movements

After not appearing in the match day team sheet for the Wigan game, the sudden appearance of Jonathan Kodjia at Birmingham Airport seemed a bit suspicious.

Some fans deadpanned on Twitter that he was off to France for a medical. Throw in the fact he had also recently scrubbed his Instagram account of not only any pictures (occasional Kodjia practice), but also any mention of Villa and the conspiracy theories whirled.

When you thought about it though, getting rid of Kodjia isn’t such a far-fetched notion. 30-year-old, this year, the player that is at the age where he’d want first team football and he’s also one of the rare Villa players that may still command a decent fee, that could be reinvested to rebuild (again).

The main factor that makes Kodjia going anywhere unlikely though, is the unlikeliness that any other club would match his current wage.

Would Kodjia accept less to play more?

Cambridge Graduation

Rushian Hepburn-Murphy has finally gone out on the first loan of his career while he’s been at Aston Villa. The Villa striker made his debut for Division Two Cambridge United in their 1-0 win away at bottom of the table, Notts County.

On loan until the end of the season, the young Villa striker, wearing the number nine shirt, started the game and was subbed on the 72 minute mark.

It could be a pivotal loan in terms of seeing where he pitches up next season. He’ll need to impress to have a chance of a proper future at Villa.

The player would have perhaps gone out on loan earlier if it wasn’t for his injuries in recent seasons. They’ve certainly curbed his progress since he made his first team debut for Villa aged just 16.

Collins Inspiration

Former Villa centre-back James Collins reaped the rewards of being determined to carry on playing, after signing for Paul Lambert’s Ipswich Town until the end of the season.

Collins, inspired relegation-threatened Ipswich on his debut to a vital 1-0 home win over Rotherham, to cut the gap to safety to seven points.

Free Agent Collins had been training with Villa, but a shoulder injury hampered the potential of him signing for the club, a story that seemingly mirrored his attempt to get signed by Stoke City in the summer.

Struggling Ipswich had also previously shown an interest in the defender when he first finished with West Ham.

Loans Manager

There’s apparently a new vacancy at Villa Park with Smith hinting they are looking to recruit somebody to look after and monitor players out on loan.

“We’ll always keep an eye on those who are out on loan,” said Smith, earlier in the week.

“At the moment we haven’t got a loans manager, but Richard O’Kelly and JT are currently splitting the loans and are keeping in touch with them on a regular basis.

“It’s [loan manager] something that we probably will do. We have ten to twelve players out on loan and it’s important that they’re feeling valued by the football club.

“It’s an important role and something that we’re looking at.”


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  1. What is it about our club that no matter who owns or manages they continue to make the same mistake! Throw money at short term buys/appointments, don’t get rid of dead wood and don’t give opportunities/develop our own younger players.

  2. Yes Smith needs to take a long hard look at what he is doing. However, as I have been saying for nearly 2 years we have so much dead wood to get rid of. More recruits will only add to that giving another manager too much choice and a squad of players with many being discontented. I said it 18 month ago stop recruiting especially loans and concentrate on unloading even if it means paying em off. Leeds had 6 academy players on bench against us. The players on pitch and on bench expected and wanted to win far more than us. It’s not the quality of players we have recruited most the best players in the division. We need to look elsewhere for the answers and it won’t be this season. If we got rid of 11 players this window I’d be happy even if it was today’s starting 11 plus Grealish. Then I think we’d have a chance of play offs.

  3. Years of bad management have resulted in the club being in this predicament .Loan players who can not make it else where .there hasn’t been a good manager since Martin .believe e me it will be a long time before the club if ever can say we are again that we are a top club.

  4. Very dissapointing today I thought Dean Smith was better than this, poor team selection, poor subs altogether wrong set up. And I don’t believe that there’s anything wrong with Kodjia should have been playing today, well looks like the honeymoon period is well and truly over and we’re back to same old same old. This is not acceptable in any sense and playoffs looks miles away, a serious reaction is called for, this can not continue.

  5. when will dean smith realise that you can not play with 2 wingers, it makes the midfield lightweight, hes coming across as a bruce type manager to me, not what villa need. ( how many happy villa fans out there ). oh and I think tammy will be off to palace monday

  6. Why didn’t Dean Smith just replace Taylor with Hause, why did Tommy get the short straw again, it’s about time he was given a fair chance.

    • Bet Tommy wished he had stayed in Hull now and Tammy must have thought about Wolves today.

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