With the summer transfer window now done and dusted, managers and players alike know where they stand until January.
Aston Villa were one of the busiest clubs over the summer, as manager Tim Sherwood brought in a whole host of new faces to mould the squad in his image.
With so much business, though, several Villa players have now been pushed down the pecking order. We decided to take a look at four Aston Villa players who will have to up their game to be first team regulars this season and beyond.
The Swiss defender can count himself unlucky to be down the pecking order this season, having come in and put in some solid performances under previous manager Paul Lambert despite a shaky history in the Premier League. He now finds himself behind the likes of Micah Richards, Ciaran Clark, Jores Okore and Joleon Lescott, with game time looking increasingly unlikely.
Now considered a veteran, Joe Cole still has plenty to offer when he can stay fit, with his experience vital in Sherwood’s relatively young squad. However, with the likes of Jordan Veretout and Jack Grealish both vying for that coveted number 10 spot, it’s hard to see where Cole can force his way in.
Another one who can consider himself unfortunate is Gil, who was brought in by former manager Lambert shortly before his sacking. He made an impressive early performances, before falling away under Tim Sherwood.
With Jack Grealish the first choice for that number 10 role he occupies, and Jordan Veretout another option, the Spaniard finds himself in a similar situation to Joe Cole. He could, though, find some joy on the wings, where Villa are still short on numbers.
The Frenchman is a peripheral figure at Villa Park these days, with several youngsters having been chosen ahead of him in the squad so far this season.
He has a fight on his hands for first team football, with Sherwood clearly not fancying him, despite having used him regularly when he originally took over last season and Villa having invested heavily in their midfield in the summer. Cup appearances may be his only hope, but even that looks a push.