Aston Villa opinion: How Dean Smith can use the new signings

After a remarkable comeback in the second half of last season and winning the playoff final, Aston Villa are back in the Premier League and look good to stay here for some time.

While the January loan signing Tyrone Mings from Bournemouth proved to be one of the many turning points of the season, the change in management was probably the masterstroke that worked wonders.

Under Steve Bruce, Villa were playing decent football but were far too inconsistent to remain in the playoff race. As a result, when he left the club, they were in the second half of the table.

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From thereon, Dean Smith took charge. Along with the assistance of John Terry, he has turned things around at the club. The former Brentford boss seemed to have instilled that never-say-die attitude into every player, which was very evident in the latter half of the campaign.

Now, with the first step done, the next stage is a toughie, where the manager needs to build a team capable of staying in the Premier League.

So far, the Villans have done a good job in terms of signing players, especially knowing the fact that they need quality squad depth in order to last the distance in the English top-flight.

Let’s take a look at the four signings made and how Smith can install them into the starting line-up:

Wesley Moares – Striker

Tammy Abraham was the club’s leading striker throughout the course of last season. But he is now back to his parent club Chelsea and could stay there to fight for a place in the first-team.

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Thus, it was vital for Aston Villa to sign a quality centre-forward to replace the Englishman. They did just that by acquiring the services of Wesley Moares from Belgian side Club Brugge.

With 13 goals and 7 assists in 38 league appearances last season, the 22-year-old seems to be an ideal man to replace Abraham as the striker of the team.

Anwar El Ghazi – Winger

The Dutchman played the whole of last season on loan from Lille and did a good job in the wide areas. He initially struggled to get into the team on a regular basis when Steve Bruce was in charge.

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But a change in the management brought about an enhancement in the 24-year-old’s game. He turned out to be one of the key players in the latter half of the season, including the playoff final.

It was a no-brainer that Dean Smith and his men kept him on a permanent basis. Now, expect the winger to be a regular feature for Villa in the Premier League.

Jota – Playmaker

Jota was an important signing because Villa needed someone to support Jack Grealish in the creative department. His numbers have been excellent in the past 18-24 months and there is no reason why he would not succeed in the Premier League.

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With the Spaniard now in the team, Dean Smith may play him and Grealish together as a number 10 duo, with John McGinn as a progressive ball-winning number six in a 4-1-4-1 formation.

Kortney Hause – Defender

Kortney Hause is a very good signing in terms of defensive cover as he can play on either side of the central defence and is comfortable operating at left-back as well.

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With centre-back Axel Tuanzebe returning to his parent club and Neil Taylor requiring support at left-back, the England U21 international can do the job for Dean Smith.

Areas to be strengthened

While the signings made so far have been good, Aston Villa still need to complete the signing of Tyrone Mings, who is expected to join them (h/t Birmingham Mail).

They also need to sign a backup for right-back Ahmed Elmohamady, with Alan Hutton leaving the club. Furthermore, Wesley Moraes may need some support at the top and thus, signing another forward wouldn’t be a bad idea.

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