Dean Smith admits he’s more than content with his squad of Aston Villa players ahead of transfer deadline day.
The head coach has added five impressive recruits – the last of which was this week’s exciting loan signing of Ross Barkley from Chelsea.
The England midfielder will make his debut against Liverpool on Sunday – yet Smith will be reluctant to change the XI that handsomely beat Fulham 3-0 on Monday.
Villa, of course, spent £75 million on Matty Cash, record-buy Ollie Watkins, new No.1 Emi Martinez and winger Bertrand Traore. As for the manager, Smith’s happy with what he’s got to work with.
“It feels like a really good window,” Smith said. “It’s a lot easier when you only have a handful of signings to do rather than the 13 we had to do last year.
“I believe we’ve added quality to a more experienced team in the Premier League, having found it tough in the first season. “I said at the end of last season that I saw an improvement from the majority of our players and now we’ve added quality to that core of the team.
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“Overall, I’m really pleased with where we’re at.”
Smith was forced to play Ahmed Elmohamady at centre-back against Stoke on Thursday knowing Bjorn Engels is still unfit after sustaining a thigh injury. Fellow centre-back Kortney Hause hobbled off just before the hour-mark too after tweaking his groin. Smith, though, believes he’s well-stocked in defence knowing he’ll start with Ezri Konsa and Tyrone Mings for the foreseeable future.
“We have only conceded two goals this season,” Smith said. “It just shows that, defensively, we’ve continued what we did at the end of last season so, defensively, we have a really sound structure at the moment.”
Villa aren’t expected to do much more in the transfer window which closes on Monday, October 5. There’s an extended window for Premier League clubs to do deals with Championship teams, though, and that closes on Friday, October 16. Villa could add a striker should one suddenly become available but, at this stage, it appears unlikely.
You can read the latest injury update ahead of Liverpool HERE.