The January transfer window closes in 3 weeks and Aston Villa are in a precarious position, hovering just above the relegation zone and having conceded 5 billion goals in their last 5 games. Even Wigan and Bradford City have hit three goals apiece past the woeful Villa defense. With the Premier League’s youngest squad seriously struggling, Paul Lambert needs the backing of Randy Lerner in this transfer window more than McLeish or O’Neill ever did previously.
Here’s a look at 5 (realistic) signings that could save Villa’s season.
Club: Manchester City
Sinclair had a fine 2011/12 season with Swansea before making the brilliant career choice to go put out cones and carry bibs at Manchester City for £50,000 a week.
Having made just 4 appearances for City since his £8m move, Sinclair will be keen to get back to first team action to prove that he is worth his place in the City squad. With Villa lacking creative spark, it could be a win-win situation.
Club: Manchester City
Despite ‘a source’ in The Mirror apparently ruling out a loan move in January, Lescott – a boyhood Villa fan – is below Kompany, Nastasic and Toure in the City pecking order and could be tempted by a chance to be a hero – at least in the short term – at Villa Park.
Although Lerner might need to actually spend the Milner/Young/Downing/Barry money, a strong CM is an absolute priority. Sissoko is tall, powerful and aggressive in the tackle, drawing predictable comparisons with Patrick Vieira. He is literally the exact opposite to Barry Bannan. Need I say more?
Club: NY Red Bulls
If there’s one thing Villa are lacking this season, it’s experience. Cahill would bring this in abundance, with personality and work rate to match. Available on a three-month loan in the MLS off-season, a return to Goodison is perhaps more likely but would be guaranteed game time at Villa Park. His heading ability would also be crucial in helping Villa at set pieces at both ends of the pitch.
OK, so there are many better defenders out there, but Olsson is a quick, strong full back with Premier League experience. There aren’t many defenders with these strengths for under £4m, but Lambert will need to move quickly to beat West Ham to his signature.
Lazio’s Belgian full back Luis Cavanda is also apparently a transfer target, but I’m not going to pretend I know anything about him so won’t pass judgement.
Here’s how the Villa team could look at the end of the January transfer window:
Who do you want Villa to sign?
What can we expect from Lambert and Lerner this month?
Will Villa survive to fight another Premier League day?
Join the debate on Twitter:
@soccersagacity & @giplu