Could Dean Smith's Walsall star Tom Bradshaw be an Aston Villa option?

Dean Smith, Manager of Brentford during the The Emirates FA Cup Third Round match between Brentford and Notts Country at Griffin Park on January 6, 2018 in Brentford, England.

Aston Villa have appointed Dean Smith as their new manager and Barnsley's Tom Bradshaw could be on their radar.

Dean Smith, manager of Brentford looks on during the Sky Bet Championship match between Brentford and Sunderland at Griffin Park on October 21, 2017 in Brentford, England.

With Dean Smith finally confirmed as the new Aston Villa manager, thoughts have already turned to who the 47-year-old could look to sign in the January transfer window.

No doubt Villa are going to be linked with a number of Smith’s former Brentford stars. But maybe it is a player Smith knows well from his time at League One side Walsall who should be considered.

Tom Bradshaw was a revelation during the Villa boss’s time at the Bescot Stadium. He scored 20 goals under Smith in 2014/15 and replicated that tally a year later.

 

The West Bromwich-born manager is clearly a big fan of the 26-year-old, not just for his goals but his commitment to the cause.

"His work rate and the way he works two centre-backs is exceptional,” Smith told the Express and Star in 2015.

Tom Bradshaw of Walsall celebrates after scoring a goal to make it 1-0 during the Sky Bet League One match between Walsall and Fleetwood Town at Bescot Stadium on May 2, 2016 in Walsall,...

So could Bradshaw be an option for Aston Villa in January, having scored 17 goals in two Championship seasons with Barnsley?

The Wales international has struggled during a loan spell at Millwall, failing to net in nine appearances. But he could rediscover his goal-scoring touch under Smith, particularly with Villa boasting a number of exciting creative talents.

Tom Bradshaw of Barnsley looks on during the Sky Bet Championship match between Barnsley and Leeds United at Oakwell Stadium on November 25, 2017 in Barnsley, England.

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