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Opinion: Aston Villa’s January business is a statement of intent but too little too late



Aston Villa have had a very productive January transfer window after a slow start to the month.

The Villains, under the guidance of Steve Bruce, have brought in four new players; three permanent transfers and a loan deal until the end of the season.

All four deals represent very good business.

The arrival of Sam Johnstone, who signed on a half-season loan deal from Manchester United, meant that young and inexperienced goalkeeper Pierluigi Gollini could leave on loan and gain some much needed playing time before making his return to Villa Park.

Johnstone is also an immediate improvement on Mark Bunn and goalkeeper was a position that Bruce identified and strengthened in this window.

Right back was another problem position.

Roberto di Matteo’s signing Ritchie De Laet showed early signs of promise but he has been ruled out for the season with injury.

James Bree has arrived from Barnsley and he is not only a quick fix and improvement on Alan Hutton but also a long-term investment, given that seven top Premier League clubs were after the 19-year-old.

Aston Villa have also added midfield duo Henri Lansbury from Nottingham Forest and Birkir Bjarnason from Basel.

A number of clubs were after in-demand Lansbury, whose contract with Forest was due to expire at the end of the season.

Meanwhile, Bjarnason has Champions League experience and was part of the Icelandic team which triumphed over England at Euro 2016.

All of these signings have been real statements of intent; the big club pull of Aston Villa still seems to work in the second tier and they are bringing in some real talented top names.

However, it is too little and too late.

The damage was done by Roberto di Matteo, it appears.

There is simply too much ground to catch up on in the second half of this season so these signings will shape up and start to make the real important impact next season, once they are fully bedded in and once Steve Bruce has had a full summer of recruiting a promotion winning side.

Aston Villa fans – do you agree with this opinion? Are these good signings? Do you still have a chance of play-offs? Let us know in the comments below…

NCTJ-qualified journalist - University of Birmingham undergraduate - King's College London postgraduate - Coventry City and West Ham United

ScoopDragon Football News Network

Article title: Opinion: Aston Villa’s January business is a statement of intent but too little too late

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