Steve Bruce has a lot of work to do at Villa Park this summer, if he is to guide his side to promotion next season.
With the World Cup on the horizon, we take a look at five things that Aston Villa fans need to keep an eye on in Russia.
1. Mile Jedinak
The Australian stalwart is a nailed on starter for his country in Russia this summer.
The 33-year-old has proven to be a vital player for the Villans since making his £4 million switch from Crystal Palace in the summer of 2016, but he has just one year remaining on his current deal with the west Midlands outfit.
A solid World Cup for Jedinak might just be enough to convince the Villa hierarchy that he is worthy of a contract extension.
2. Ahmed Elmohamady
The Egyptian is a cult hero in his homeland, and is certain to play a key role in their World Cup campaign.
The 30-year-old is a vital player for Villa, and a successful tournament in Russia could give him the confidence boost that he needs to return to Villa Park full of renewed vigour ahead of next season.
3. Birkir Bjarnason
The 30-year-old is a guaranteed starter for his country, however, and the World Cup will offer him a fantastic opportunity to prove that he is worthy of a place in Villa's starting line-up next season.
Villa were linked with a January swoop for the Bologna ace, according to Tutto Mercato Web, but a move eventually failed to materialise.
The Villans faithful should keep a close on his performances for Sweden this summer, as should the club's player recruitment staff, to see whether he is of the required standard to succeed in the Championship.
5. Ahmed Musa
Villa were linked with a move for the Leicester City hitman in January, according to the Birmingham Mail, but he eventually ended up joining CSKA Moscow on loan.
The Villans will surely be on the look-out for a forward this summer, and there is no reason why they should not be tempted into a move for the Nigerian once again, especially if he enjoys a successful World Cup with the Super Eagles.
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