Roberto Di Matteo assesses Aston Villa's transfer business so far, hints at next move

New manager Roberto Di Matteo during the press conference

The Villa manager is pleased with the trio of players he has brought in but emphasised that he still needs to cut down his squad.

New manager Roberto Di Matteo poses after the press conference

Aston Villa manager Roberto Di Matteo has told the club's official website that he is happy with his transfer business so far this summer, but admitted that he now needs to shift his focus onto cutting down his squad before the start of the season.

Villa have brought in three players in the transfer window since Di Matteo's appointment, in the form of young Italian goalkeeper Pierluigi Gollini, Bournemouth captain and centre-back Tommy Elphick, and Reading central midfielder Aaron Tshibola.

Meanwhile, Di Matteo has sold Callum Robinson to Preston North End and allowed rarely-seen defender Jose Angel Crespo to join Greek side PAOK, with Charles N'Zogbia and Kieran Richardson also departing Villa Park upon the expiration of their contracts.

Villa are preparing for life in the Championship and all the new challenges that brings, such as eight more league matches a season and entering cup competitions at earlier rounds, and Di Matteo will be keen to build a strong and sizeable squad.

New manager Roberto Di Matteo during the press conference

However, after insisting that he is happy with his incoming business thus far, the Italian boss admitted that he would like to cut down the current Villa group over the coming weeks as he looks to form a tight-knit squad.

Di Matteo told "From day one, I was looking to strengthen the spine of the team, make it as strong as possible. I am very pleased with the additions so far. We’ve been very quick to get the right signings in and I have been very pleased about that.

"Right now, we have a big squad. I have focused a lot of my time on training but also in signing the right players. Probably over the next two or three weeks I need to look at getting some players out as well.

New manager Roberto Di Matteo poses after the press conference

"I want to trim the squad. I don’t want as big a squad as we have now. My focus will be on that."

Whilst the news of planned departures will likely encourage Villa fans, who saw far too many players serve merely as passengers last season, there may well be concerns about Di Matteo's suggestion that he will turn his attention away from adding more signings.

In particular, a popular consensus is likely to be that Villa still need a striker. Though the club have a proven Championship goalscorer in Rudy Gestede, he and Jordan Ayew netted just 13 times between them last term, whilst Libor Kozak struggled with injury again and Gabriel Agbonlahor laboured to little effect.

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

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