Speaking to talkSPORT, Stan Collymore has given his thoughts on Aston Villa’s January transfer plans, claiming that he wants to see the club starting preparing for a season in the Championship.
He said: “Why not now release players on big contracts, or [sell] for a very low fee. I’m thinking of people like N’Zogbia - let him go for a couple of million and get him off the wage bill. Maybe Gabby [Agbonlahor] and one or two others. Decide who are the experienced players who do want to play in the Championship. Because of the size of their club, Villa might - maybe, just maybe - be able to tempt one or two away from other Championship clubs.”
Villa are surely already relegated, with their defeat to Sunderland at the weekend leaving them 11 points off safety after 20 games.
They have just one victory to their name, and Remi Garde has not yet picked up a win since taking charge of the club as the replacement for Tim Sherwood.
Many believe that the only chance Villa have of staying in the top flight is to complete some January transfer business, spending big on three of four players who will bring real quality to the squad.
However, Collymore would prefer the club started to prepare for next season, building a squad which can cope in the Championship.
He wants to see big earners taken off the wage bill - either released or sold - and the key figures in Villa’s future, and the players who are willing to play in the second tier, identified and kept on.
Relegation is a certainty, and there is no point in Villa trying to sign top class players who will not be able to keep them up. Building for next season seems to be the wisest option, and starting to prepare now could ensure that Villa win promotion back to the Premier League at the earliest possible opportunity.