Football Season Guide

Aston Villa


Emiliano Buendia (att) Norwich City; Ashley Young (def) Inter; Frédéric Guilbert (def) Strasburg – end of loan; Leon Bailey (att) Bayer 04 Leverkusen; Danny Ings (att) Southampton; Axel Tuanzebe (def) Manchester United - on loan


Jack Grealish (mid) Manchester City; Mbwana Samatta (att) Fenerbahce – loan made permanent; Tom Heaton (gk) – released; Björn Engels (def) Royal Antwerp; Ahmed Elmohamady (def) – released; Neil Taylor (def) – released

Aston Villa got off to a great start in 2020/21 and registered four straight victories, including a 7-2 triumph over reigning champions Liverpool, but inconsistency and Jack Grealish’s 14-game absence due to injury paid their toll to the team. Villa came close to clinching a top-half position, but finished 11th after mustering a respectable 55 points in what can be considered as a very good campaign. Emiliano Martinez stood out in goal and helped Aston Villa keep the third-best clean sheet record in the Premier League, while Ollie Watkins netted 14 goals and both are expected to be vital cogs in Dean Smith’s well-oiled machine. Aston Villa’s top priority this summer was to keep hold on Grealish, but they failed to convince their star to stay and they have signed a talented winger in Emiliano Buendia, an experienced striker in Danny Ings and a promising forward in Leon Bailey to strengthen their attack. Following the signings of the three aforementioned forwards, Villa's frontline is expected to be their main strength in 2021/22, should they manage to gel upfront. Having cashed in on Grealish, they have raised enough funds to bring in squad depth, something they lacked last season and prevented them from competing for European positions.


Aston Villa’s realistic target is finishing in the top half, but if newcomers Buendia, Ings and Bailey live up to expectations, they can aspire to compete for European qualification.