Dean Smith

Aston Villa Opinion: Two defenders Dean Smith should sign this summer

Aston Villa may have picked up the momentum at the right time as we edge closer to the completion of the 2018/19 Championship season.

Four wins in last five games has lifted the Villans up to sixth in the table, although they remain in that position due to a better goal difference than seventh-placed Preston. Dean Smith is slowly getting the grip over his team and considering how things were when Steve Bruce was sacked, there is a massive improvement in the team’s performance and results.

With or without promotion, Aston Villa should offload some deadwood off their ranks and replace them with fresh, young and dynamic players. And one area that needs a complete overhaul is the defence.

Villa’s defence hasn’t been great this season, leaking 54 goals already, which is more than any other club in the top six in the Championship. So it’s obvious Smith needs to bolster his defensive options if he is to make the club a top-flight material again.

Keeping the club’s defensive problems in mind, here are two defenders Smith should sign this summer.

1. Tyrone Mings (Bournemouth)

A loan move to Aston Villa has benefited Bournemouth defender Tyrone Mings massively, with the bulky defender proving to be an inspired addition to Dean Smith’s side. Mings has played a key role in solidifying the porous backline, thus helping the club rise back into the play-offs.

Tyrone Mings

The 26-year-old defender’s renaissance at Villa Park should be enough for Dean Smith to try turning the loan move into a permanent one at the end of the season. Mings appears to be the real deal for the club as he has done very well in a short space of time.

Furthermore, the former Ipswich man has brought leadership qualities to the side that they lacked all this season following the departure of John Terry. Hence, it’s a no-brainer for Smith to do everything possible to sign Mings permanently.

2. Yoann Barbet (Brentford)

Having left the job at Brentford to join Aston Villa last year, Smith should raid his former club for left-back Yoann Barbet, who has already been linked with the Midlands club.

Yoann Barbet

Smith knows Barbet very well, having signed him for Brentford in the summer of 2015. Since then, the Frenchman has established himself as one of the Championship’s more reliable defenders while his ability to play at centre-half and left-back has earned him a lot of plaudits.

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Alan Hutton is nearing the end of his career, while Neil Taylor has been underwhelming all this season. Barbet would be an upgrade on Taylor and given that he is available on a free, and can play at centre-back and left-back, he would be a strong addition to Villa.

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