Aston Villa manager Paul Lambert has said he can’t sign big money signings, so here are 5 potential gems for Villa to snap up in January.
In the aftermath of their 2-0 win over Cardiff City, Paul Lambert admitted the club aren’t in a position to sign big money players and will give the youth a chance to shine, declaring to Sky Sports: 'That’s the game… it’s a challenge. Randy has been great and Paul Faulkner has been great but we won’t be able to do what you call a massive signing.
'We won’t be able to go out and buy the big type of players. We have to look at the market, the young lads. We give them an opportunity and hopefully they take it.'
The current situation at Aston Villa is frustrating for the supporters that want to be competing with the ‘richer’ clubs and their glorious wealth for a chance of a crack at Europe; unfortunately they are simply not in a position to go out and buy proven quality.
Here is who I think Aston Villa should sign this January to continue their rise up the table, and a possibility of a top half finish.
1) Raheem Sterling – The Liverpool man has been touted for a loan move recently, and Aston Villa could be a good place for the young player to carry on his development. Despite rumours linking him to Derby and Swansea, Aston Villa would fancy themselves as favourites if they wanted to sign the talented 18-year-old. Already with an England cap under his belt, he would fit in nicely with the current mind-set and character of the Villa side.
2) Jordan Rhodes – Although it may be on the fringes of their budget, there is absolutely no doubt that the Championship hitman would be a fantastic signing for Villa, and would be able to link up with Christian Benteke without much problem. Perhaps the most ‘natural’ goalscorer the second tier has seen since Steve Bull, the 23-year-old has made quite a name for himself since his 8-million pound move from Blackburn.
3) Joey Barton – The experienced mouth piece has been in terrific form for Harry Redknapp and his men this season, being widely regarded as the best in his position in the division and perhaps the best in the division all together. Despite the reputation, the 31-year-old does certainly have something to offer, whilst not the most long-term signing would be able to add experience to a youthful Villa side.
4) Joe Allen – Another talented midfielder thrown on the scrap heap at a big club, he could compliment the impressive Delph and Westwood in the middle of the park with his tidy link up play and attack minded movement.
5) Michael Keane - The young United centre back proved himself a vastly talented player last season where despite only playing half a season came runner up in Leicester City’s Player of the year Award, which isn't bad going as they finished in the play-offs. A more permanent deal would be favourable to the West Midlands side but, at this current stage of his development I don’t think United would be willing to burn their bridges with him.
image: © michael kjaer