Aston Villa Transfer Focus - Lambert hints at more player signings
Aston Villa fans can expect more signings to arrive at the club before the deadline shuts at the end of August according to new manager Paul Lambert. Supporters should however also expect a few more to leave.
A wave of enthusiasm has spread through the Villa fanbase in the past week, as the club has welcomed Brett Holman, Karim El-Ahmadi and Matt Lowton, who all look to add something different to the dynamics of the team. Fans have feared the summer months in past years as the pre-season transfer window has brought about departures such as James Milner, Ashley Young and Stewart Downing.
This time around the story is a little different, with three new players arriving before pre-season training has even began, and Lambert suggesting to Sky Sports that more are likely to follow:
"I'll try to get lads in to give the group a hand. I think that's important. I think everyone knows that we'll try and bring in lads. The lads that have come in have fitted in very well, at this minute in time. We just have to get them to work together and if they do that, they'll be fine."
With Carlos Cuellar and Emile Heskey leaving at the end of the last campaign, a strong centre forward and commanding centre-back will be high on the manager’s shopping list. Norwich striker Grant Holt was originally rumoured to join Lambert at Villa Park, but the striker, who scored 15 goals last season in the League, recently signed a new deal at Carrow Road.
To replace Cuellar, Real Mallorca central defender Ivan Ramis has been linked with a £4 million move to Villa (see The Independent). The Spanish centre-back has admitted he would like to leave his current club this summer. Competition is fierce for Ramis however, with Sunderland and Wigan also rumoured to be interested in his signature.
Villa fans should also expect a few more outgoings before the transfer window closes, as Lambert looks to mould a team to his ideas and beliefs. With Lowton joining the club and the US international Eric Lichaj one of the few impressive performers last season, it could spell the end to Alan Hutton's brief spell at Villa Park. Hutton is due to have talks with Lambert regarding his future at the club in coming days. Being top of the Villa under-performers list last year, these talks may not take too long.
James Collins has been linked with several moves away during the past 12 months, but Lambert may want to keep hold of the Welshman, as his options in defence are limited. With the arrival of Holman and El-Ahmadi, who can both play in midfield, it could also spell the end of Fabian Delph or John Makoun at Villa Park. Makoun had been on a season long loan at Greek side Olympiacos last season, while Delph enjoyed a brief loan spell at old club Leeds, before his season was cut short through injury. Both players were brought in on quite high wages and if Lambert does not see a future for the pair, their release could help to cut costs.
With more transfer activity very likely at Aston Villa, it looks to be an exciting period for the club as Lambert shapes his new look side. He will hope his new team hits the ground running, and improves on the dismal performance of last season as they strive to become the 'big club' they once were.
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