Tony Xia identifies the position Aston Villa are most in need of strengthening

New manager Roberto Di Matteo and new owner Dr Tony Xia during the press conference

The Villans have made only one new signing so far.

New manager Roberto Di Matteo and New owner Dr Tony Xia pose after the press conference

New Aston Villa owner Tony Xia has identified the position in which the club are most in need of strengthening this summer and is backing manager Roberto di Matteo to deliver, the Birmingham Mail reports.

Villa have brought in one new face - former Bournemouth captain Tommy Elphick - following last season's relegation and more will be required if the Midlands outfit are to return to the Premier League at the first time of asking.

Bournemouth's Tommy ElphickElphick: Villa's only new recruit so far

One of the main reasons for last season's failure was a lack of goals, with Villa's tally of 27 the lowest in the division, while their top scorers Jordan Ayew and Rudy Gestede managed to score seven apiece in all competitions.

In light of this, Villa have found themselves linked with a string of new strikers, notably Fulham's Ross McCormack, Crystal Palace's Dwight Gayle and Chelsea's Patrick Bamford (Birmingham Mail).

And Xia admitted: "A strong striker is a first priority for us.

Leeds' Ross McCormackMcCormack has scored 116 goals at Championship level

"I don’t want to put too much pressure on the manager. He is the one who has the ability to get things done."

In Gestede, however, the Villans already possess a proven Championship goalscorer, with the Benin international finding the net 20 times for Blackburn Rovers two seasons ago to prompt a £6 million move to Villa Park, while Scott Sinclair only narrowly fell short of that tally (19) his last season at that level, which ended in promotion for Swansea City.

Blackburn Rovers' Rudy Gestede celebrates scoring their third goal with Jordan RhodesGestede in his Blackburn days

Gabriel Agbonlahor, Callum Robinson and Ayew are the other attackers currently at Di Matteo's disposal.

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