According to the Telegraph, Aston Villa are closing in on a deal to sign Club Brugge midfielder Marvelous Nakamba. The arrival of the Zimbabwean will mark the Villans’ eleventh signing of the summer so far. The transfer will also take the club’s spending to near the £120 million mark.
These are undoubtedly exciting days for the Villa Park faithful. Having achieved promotion from the Championship last season, manager Dean Smith has thrown himself into rebuilding and strengthening his squad ahead of the their maiden Premier League campaign.
However, the Villa boss is currently playing a dangerous game. His squad certainly needed strengthening in key areas this summer. However, such a drastic overhaul can have a damaging effect. It takes time for new players to settle in at a club and gel with the rest of the squad. With so many new arrivals this summer, the dressing room will feel like alien territory for everyone at the start of this season. This can lead to a lack of cohesion on the pitch.
It may take a while for this new-look Villa side to generate any chemistry, and they could struggle to get going in the top flight as a result. A poor start to the campaign could have a devastating impact on the rest of the club’s season.
There is recent previous precedent for this issue. Last season, Fulham were relegated after a pitiful performance. The London club went down with just seven wins and 26 points on the board. Last season was Fulham’s first back in the Premier League following their promotion from the second tier. Prior to the start of the campaign, Fulham welcomed 12 new arrivals and spent in excess of £100 million. As a result, their squad failed to click and they floundered.
Villa currently risk failing to learn from this example of reckless spending. Unless Smith is careful, he is in danger of dragging Villa straight back down in a similar fashion to Fulham’s recent failure.