Why Aston Villa should sign Tom Heaton in January
As per a report from the Daily Express, EFL Championship side Aston Villa are closing in on signing Burnley goalkeeper Tom Heaton on loan for the rest of the season once the transfer window reopens in January.
The 32-year-old is currently behind Joe Hart and Nick Pope in the pecking order at Turf Moor and recently hinted that he is willing to consider an exit in the winter transfer window. (h/t The Mirror)
There was interest in the England international’s services from Bristol City as well as Leeds United, but Villa seem to have staved off the competition to land their man, as per the report from Express.
Aston Villa made two goalkeeping additions to the squad in the summer transfer window, having failed to sign the impressive Sam Johnstone on a permanent basis from Manchester United.
Andre Moreira was the first signing of the summer for the Villans, arriving on loan from Atletico Madrid. They also brought in Orjan Nyland from FC Ingolstadt on a permanent basis. Amidst this, the club allowed Jed Steer to leave the club on loan to League One outfit Charlton Athletic.
None of the transfer decisions seem to have worked out well for the Villans though. Nyland was a big reason behind their defensive struggles early on in the 2018/19 campaign. The 28-year-old Norwegian has managed just four clean sheets from 16 appearances in the Championship, conceding 21 goals in the process.
Moreira, on the other hand, has been relegated to a couple of appearances in the Carabao Cup and hasn’t made the matchday squad for a Championship game since the last week of September, with veteran shot-stopper Mark Bunn preferred on the bench over the Portuguese.
While Nyland has shown signs of improvement under new manager Dean Smith in the recent matches, Villa would stand to benefit greatly by adding a seasoned campaigner in the goal to mount a serious promotion bid in the second half of the campaign.
And Heaton would be the perfect solution for the Midlands outfit. Since moving to Burnley in 2013, the former Manchester United academy man has helped the Clarets to promotion to the Premier League on two separate occasions.
A reliable figure between the sticks, the three-time capped England international has made 181 appearances for Burnley during his five years at the club. However, he has only appeared thrice in the ongoing season.
The 32-year-old has over 180 appearances in the Championship and understands what it takes to succeed at this level. Having been an integral part of two promotion-winning teams, he would also bring in the know-how and experience. Meanwhile, his natural leadership skills and the ability to keep his defence tight and organized can be valuable tools for Smith’s team going forward in the campaign.
A dislocated shoulder kept him out of action for a major part of last season while a minor calf injury hindered his comeback towards the beginning of the 2018/19 campaign. However, now that he has fully recovered, he could prove to be a real asset for Aston Villa.
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Aston Villa Opinion: Why the Villans should sign Bruno Andrade?
According to a report from the Birmingham Mail, Aston Villa are interested in Lincoln City forward Bruno Andrade.
The Portuguese, 25, was one of Lincoln City’s top performers as they stormed to the League Two title, scoring ten goals while providing a further six assists under manager Danny Cowley. His performances have apparently attracted attention from Aston Villa and Portsmouth, who are up against Sunderland in the League One playoff semi-finals.
Aston Villa are just one game away from returning to the Premier League after beating West Brom in the Championship play-off semi-final on Tuesday. They will face Derby County in the playoff finals after the Rams beat Leeds United at Elland Road last night.
Jack Grealish and Tammy Abraham have been the undisputed stars of this Villa side, but Dean Smith will likely be without the latter next season. Abraham scored 26 goals in 39 games for the Midlands outfit and scored the decisive penalty in the shoot-out against West Brom to send his team to Wembley.
Now, with the 21-year-old is expected to return to Chelsea at the end of his loan spell, Dean Smith will have to be in the market for a prolific forward who can replace Abraham at the Villa Park next season. Thus, signing Bruno Andrade would make complete sense, but he shouldn’t be the only forward that walks in from the front door at Aston Villa.
Andrade is blessed with searing pace, power and natural athleticism that helps him beat his man with the utmost ease. The left winger is an unpredictable customer, unplayable on his day and frustrating on the other when things are not going his way. But he isn’t the one to give up easily as the 25-year-old works extremely hard off the ball and helps his team defensively when required.
The Portuguese is someone who can not only bury chances at will but is also capable of creating chances as well. The former OPR starlet is nippy, tricky and has the X-factor with which he can destroy the opposition. Andrade would add some new life to the Villa attack, whilst being an upgrade over Albert Adomah.
At 25, Andrade is about to enter the prime years of his career. He matured during his time in the non-league and has stepped up to League Two like a duck to water.
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If the Portuguese continues to progress at this pace, he could turn out to be a signing of real significance for Dean Smith’s Villa.
Aston Villa are far better off without signing this 25-year-old wing machine and this is why they should avoid it
Aston Villa Opinion: Signing League Two star Bruno Andrade would make little sense for the Lions
According to Lincolnshire Live, Aston Villa are weighing up a move for Lincoln City star Bruno Andrade, with League One outfit Portsmouth also keen on securing the services of the 25-year-old Portuguese winger.
Andrade is not the only Lincoln City player to have attracted interest from higher league clubs though, with 18-year-old midfielder Ellis Chapman also bring tracked by Southampton, Wigan Athletic and Derby County. (h/t Lincolnshire Live)
Bruno Andrade was one of the stars of Lincoln City’s promotion-winning League Two campaign, as the Portuguese bagged 10 goals and 6 assists from a left-wing position to fire the Imps into the League One as the champions of the fouth division.
The 25-year-old former QRP youth product made 42 appearances for Lincoln and was arguably their most impressive performer this past season.
The news of Aston Villa’s links with Bruno Andrade comes as a big shock to the fans at Villa Park given that the Lions are already in the finals of the promotion-playoffs after beating West Brom in the semi-finals on penalties.
Villa are set to face Frank Lampard’s Derby County in the final at Wembley towards the end of the month and there is every chance that they could be in the Premier League next season.
Andrade put in a string of impressive performances for the Imps in the recently-concluded season and proved that he is certainly head and shoulders above League Two standards.
However, it would be a massive ask for him to make a triple jump up to the Premier League next season, or a double for that matter to the Championship if Villa lose in the playoff finals.
The difference in the level of intensity and quality between League Two and the Championship or the Premier League is massive and Villa’s links with the player look quite inexplicable on paper.
Villa are on the verge of making a much-anticipated return to the top-flight and signing a player like Andrade would make little sense. Even if they have seen something extraordinary in the Portuguese winger, the Lions would be better off looking at other options in the market.
Interestingly, Andrade has hardly ever played in the Championship or the Premier League, barring a 10-minute cameo for QPR in the top-flight seven years back. It would be hard to expect a player who has plied his trade in the lower divisions of English football for his entire career to make the step up to the Premier League all off a sudden, no matter how good he is.
The player in question was in the fifth tier with Boreham Wood and Woking a couple of seasons back and has only recently shot to prominence in League Two, although he had mediocre spells with Wycombe Wanderers and Stevenage in the fourth-tier earlier in his career.
Not only that, Andrade is already 25 and he doesn’t fall in the bracket of a promising youngster, so Villa’s interest in the player goes against all logic and reason.
Indeed, Villa need to bring in some quality players this summer if they manage to secure promotion to the Premier League. The Lions can certainly do with a few additions to their wide options but they are not in a dire crisis at the moment which necessitates looking at players in League Two.
On the contrary, Villa should prioritise striking a permanent deal for Lille winger Anwar El Ghazi, who has played an important role in the promotion push. Plus, they have players like Andre Green and Albert Adomah, who are not world-beaters but certainly better than Bruno Andrade.
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If the Lions are really serious about signing new players in the summer, they should look at options who can be an upgrade on what they already have in their ranks. Bruno Andrade apparently doesn’t fall in that category and the fans have every reason to expect a lot more ambition from the club in the transfer window.
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Aston Villa Opinion: Villa must keep Tammy Abraham beyond the summer
The report suggests that Villa are extremely keen on holding onto their man beyond the current season as he’s done well for them since making the switch.
It’s has been suggested that Dean Smith’s side are willing to pay up to £25m for the youngster’s permanent services if they’re able to achieve Premier League promotion.
While that’s what they’ve been striving for since the start of the season, Tammy has certainly grown into a key figure and fans’ favourite at Villa Park.
He was made the first-choice striker right from the opening weeks of the campaign. Without his exceptional displays in the central striker’s role, Villa couldn’t have dreamt of reaching the playoffs, especially considering that they weren’t even in the top half of the championship table around Christmas.
Over the whole season though, if there’s one player who deserved all the accolades they’re currently receiving, it’s been Tammy. His 25 league goals in the Villa shirt have been vital in their way to the current position. His finishing and movement in front of goal have been absolutely sublime.
Finding strikers that can score more than 20 goals in a season is not an easy task and it’s no surprise that Villa are keen on signing him permanently despite the hefty price-tag. With Premier League football still very much on the horizon at Villa Park, it will be essential for them to hold onto Abraham.
His goals will prove to be extremely important to them next season, especially if they’re caught in a relaxation dogfight in the Premier League. His know-how and experience of the speedy English style will help Villa settle back to life in the big league quickly.
While the fans will also be hopeful that their star man stays beyond the summer, his parent club Chelsea will definitely have other ideas considering their current predicament. With a transfer ban seemingly looming over their heads, selling any players, let alone Tammy, would be a massive blunder.
Also, with Eden Hazard’s future still hanging in the balance, it would be smart on their part to try and find a replacement who can continue the flow of goals from within. They wouldn’t have to look very far because Tammy Abraham is the ideal talisman for this Chelsea side.
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While a lot of factors could come into play with regard to this transfer, Aston Villa fans will be hopeful that the staff are able to convince him to sign for them. At the same time, an aspiring English striker would certainly want to make a name for himself at a big club like Chelsea and it would be a surprise to see him pass this chance up.
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