Eight stars Aston Villa could sell or release in a busy summer window

Aston Villa have already spent more than £200million since winning promotion back to the Premier League in 2019.

Expect Dean Smith’s side to be active in the transfer window again this summer as they look to build on their impressive progress this season after staying up on the final day last term.

But the size of Smith’s transfer kitty is yet to be determined and will depend if skipper Jack Grealish is sold.

Even if Grealish stays though, Villa’s recent form has underlined they need more cover and attacking talent.

In the last seven games Grealish has missed recently with a shin injury, Villa have won just twice.

Another another winger and forward are on Villa’s shopping list to ease the burden on Ollie Watkins and Grealish.

Several squad men could also go to bring in more quality and make space for some of the club’s exciting homegrown prospects to shine.

JACK GREALISH

WEST BROMWICH, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 20: Jack Grealish of Aston Villa during the Premier League match between West Bromwich Albion and Aston Villa at The Hawthorns on December 20, 2020 in West Bromwich, United Kingdom. The match will be played without fans, behind closed doors as a Covid-19 precaution. (Photo by James Williamson - AMA/West Bromwich Albion FC via Getty Images)
The Villa skipper is in demand this summer after six goals and 10 Premier League assists before getting injured

The Aston Villa attacking ace is wanted by champions-elect Manchester City despite his valuation rising to over £100million.

Riyad Mahrez, 30, has had a fine season at the Etihad but is only under contract until 2023.

There is growing talk that Pep Guardiola may cash in on Mahrez this summer and turn to Grealish, who could play anywhere across a fluid three behind a false No.9.

City have just flexed their financial muscles putting Kevin De Bruyne on £400,000-a-week.

It dwarfs the £130,000-a-week Grealish earns at Villa Park.

He only signed a new five-year deal with his boyhood club last September and is not agitating to leave.

But he is understood to have been glued to Champions League football on TV this week watching on enviously as Europe’s elite go head to head.

And given the red-hot form he showed for both Villa and England earlier this season to underline his ability at the top, it would only be natural for Grealish, now aged 25, to question whether he needs to move this summer to fulfil his ambitions of playing at that level.

ROSS BARKLEY

Ross Barkley faces an uncertain future this summer after flopping on loan from Chelsea at Aston Villa
(Image: Pool via REUTERS)

The on-loan Chelsea ace can’t even get a start at the moment with Jack Grealish injured so it seems unlikely he will stay next season.

The attacking midfielder, 27, showed some promising early glimpses with back to back goals in the Premier League last October in wins against Liverpool and Leicester.

But the star later picked up a hamstring injury at home to Brighton just minutes into the game.

The star has since struggled for form and fitness as he has failed make much impact at Villa Park.

He has been on the bench for the last six games despite Villa toiling without key man Grealish.

Any hopes of going with England to the Euros, which was a motivating factor in his loan, have surely gone up in smoke.

It is implausible to imagine Villa meeting his estimated £40m price tag to keep him at this rate.

BJORN ENGELS

Bjorn Engels has not played for Villa since before lockdown a year ago and faces a summer exit
(Image: Laurence Griffiths)

The Belgium stopper cost £7.2million from Reims but has not played since lockdown.

Despite coming from a club in France’s Champagne wine-growing region, his performances have certainly not been sparkling.

He has not played a single game this season and his last appearance was in a 4-0 thumping against Leicester in the last game before the shutdown.

He has found himself well down the pecking order behind England centre-back Tyrone Mings and Ezri Konsa, who signed a new contract last week.

His lack of mobility is striking compared to Villa’s first choice defenders.

The 6ft4in Engels, 26, now looks set to go this summer despite being under contract until 2024.

NEIL TAYLOR

Neil Taylor in action for Aston Villa ahead of his contract expiring this summer
(Image: Plumb Images)

The Welsh full-back, 32, is a good pro and a solid citizen in the dressing room.

He has made just four appearances this season but he is usually seen encouraging his team-mates and fellow subs from the sidelines like he did in the win over Fulham last weekend.

He hasn’t had much of a look in this season due to the consistent form of Matt Targett, who has played every League game.

Taylor, signed from Swansea in January 2017, is out of contract this summer and another player heading for the exit

AHMED ELMOHAMADY

Ahmed Elmohamady is likely to be saying goodbye to Aston Villa this summer when his contract is up
(Image: Neville Williams)

The Egyptian right-back recently return to the side when Matty Cash was injured and he can always be relied upon.

But the signing from Hull in 2017 turns 34 later this year and is out of contract this summer.

Villa have already had value for money from his £1million buy with over 100 appearances and expect him to move on.

His exit could enable a return for French right-back Frederic Guilbert, 26, currently on loan at Strasbourg.

HENRI LANSBURY

Attacking midfielder Henri Lansbury moved to Championship Bristol City in January for more regular action
(Image: Catherine Ivill)

The midfielder is certain to be leaving Villa Park when his contract expires this summer.

Lansbury, 30, joined Villa in January 2017 on big-money wages from Championship rivals Nottingham Forest after scoring 32 League goals for them.

Villa hoped he would be able to repeat his goal-scoring form from Forest for them but he managed just two.

But the former Arsenal trainee has struggled for regular game time and the writing was on the wall for Lansbury when he was loaned to Bristol City in January and will become a free agent this summer.

CONOR HOURIHANE

Conor Hourihane has impressed on loan at Championship Swansea and could stay if the Welsh club go up
(Image: Neville Williams)

The Republic of Ireland midfielder opted to go out on loan in January to Championship Swansea for regular first team football.

The left-footed ace, 30, has impressed in Wales with five goals and one assist for the Swans who could get promoted.

He is under contract until 2022 at Villa Park after joining in January 2017 from Barnsley and penning a contract extension in 2019.

But if Swansea come up and gain promotion, expect the Swans to try and buy the dead ball expert.

If they fall short then Villa are likely to field other offers for the midfielder who is a good pro who has worked his way up all the divisions to the Premier League

MARVELLOUS NAKAMBA

The midfielder played for Aston Villa in the Carabao Cup final defeat to Manchester City last season
(Image: REUTERS)

The Zimbabwe international midfielder has failed to justify his £11million signing from Club Brugge after signing for Villa after promotion.

He was one of several dud buys that cost sporting director Jesus Garcia Pitarch, known as Suso, his job last season.

He has failed to register a goal or an assist in 38 Premier League appearances.

He is under contract until 2024 but Villa could try to cash in on the defensive midfielder this summer as boss Smith looks to improve his squad.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *