Wednesday 2 September 2020

What do Aston Villa need in the transfer market?

When Aston Villa returned to the top flight after an extended hiatus, the club spent heavily to fill out a depleted squad. Despite heavy spending in the summer and in January 2020, Villa stayed up with the skin of their teeth. Several signings, including the likes of Trezeuet, Wesley, and Marvelous Nakamba have struggled to make a proper impact.

This has left the Villans with a lot of work to do in the summer, both in getting rid of deadwood and clearing their squad to make way for quality. With their talisman Jack Grealish expected to leave, too, this removes one of their only major talents.

Villa are expected to look for a new forward, with Wesley still unfit and Mbwana Samatta struggling to make a proper impact. Young forward Keinan Davis is too raw at the moment, leaving them short of goals. With Grealish leaving, too, expect Villa to have to make reinforcements in the wide areas as well.

Goalkeeper, though, could be a priority with Tom Heaton still out for the long-term and Orjan Nyland struggling to make a proper impact. While some young talent at Villa is worth building around, they have too many veterans failing to contribute and a distinct lack of creativity in key positions.

Even in central midfield, only John McGinn can truly say that he looks Premier League standard. 

Douglas Luiz was excellent in the end of the season, too, so the duo could be worth building around if Villa want to rebuild their side.

However, much like last summer, it feels like this one could be a major rebuilding job for Villa. With limited funds, not as many offers for Grealish as hoped, and a season about to kick off, getting the job done is going to be tough. They need a lot both in quantity and quality as well as shifting a lot of deadwood out the door – is it too much for one summers work again?

Tuesday 1 September 2020

Joe Linton

It’s not often that you hear of Newcastle United splashing the cash. So, when the club managed to spend over €40m on Joelinton from TSG Hoffenhiem, fans were naturally excited. The 22-year-old has been around the German game for a couple of years now, as well as having spent time out on loan in Austria. An explosive and exciting talent, does he have the means to make the Premier League a little less challenging for the Toon?

What makes him so special?

Joelinton is a lot like another former Hoffenheim forward in Roberto Firmino in that he does not necessarily stick up top. He works hard in harrying the opposition defence, and he loves to link-up with his teammates. He gets involved in the defensive side of the game before getting his teammates involved in the play – that might explain a rather lacklustre goals return.

A good passer and a fine dribbler, too, Joelinton can take players on and make a positive impact when he’s on the ball. The fact he has no issues working back is a big boon, too, as the Premier League demands high intensity forwards.

Though Newcastle fans might expect more goals from a striker who cost so much, he offers so much in various other parts of the pitch that, if they can supply him with good teammates, he could be of great value to Newcastle.

Any concerns or doubts?

However, part of the problem with Joelinton is that he’s often in so many places, he’s not in the right one when it matters. Goals are an issue, as is fouling the opposition. He has a habit of reliving pressure by being too aggressive on defenders, which can be a problem.

Also, given that he spends so much time outside of the box, he often shoots from distance instead of getting in close to finish chances off. In a team that does not create as much as many of their competition, that barren nature that can strike Joelinton could be problematic.

If they can build the team around him without expecting him to a static striker, though, Newcastle should profit from the purchase of the Brazilian.