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Aston Villa

Jake Livermore speculation suggests the end is near for Henri Lansbury

The midfielder has struggled to settle in at Aston Villa since his move from Nottingham Forest.

Mathew Nash

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Reports today are suggesting that Aston Villa are in the hunt for West Bromwich Albion midfielder Jake Livermore. The Sun reports that Steve Bruce is looking to sign the player in the summer. It would be a reunion from the pair, who previously worked together whilst Bruce was the manager at Hull City.

Since then the 28-year-old has moved on, joining West Bromwich Albion in January 2017 in a deal reported by ESPN to be in the region of £10 million. Whilst times are hard for the Baggies, who seem destined for relegation, the midfielder remains a member of the England squad and could head to Russia with his country this summer.

Aston Villa would clearly be getting their hands on a very talented midfield operator who Bruce knows very well. But whilst the deal might hang on the Villans achieving Premier League promotion, the news will not be welcome news for one Aston Villa player.

West Bromwich Albion’s English midfielder Jake Livermore (L) vies against Leicester City’s Japanese striker Shinji Okazaki during the English Premier League football match between West Bromwich Albion and Leicester City at The Hawthorns stadium in West Bromwich, central England, on March 10, 2018. / AFP PHOTO / Lindsey PARNABY / RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or ‘live’ services. Online in-match use limited to 75 images, no video emulation. No use in betting, games or single club/league/player publications. / (Photo credit should read LINDSEY PARNABY/AFP/Getty Images)

When Aston Villa paid Nottingham Forest £3 million, as reported by Sky Sports, for Henri Lansbury they were signing a star. The midfield maestro was arguably the best performing player in the Championship at that time.

A technical operator with a Premier League range of passing, an acute eye for goal and ferocious appetite for possession he was perfect for Steve Bruce’s Aston Villa.

That, however, has not proved to be the case. Instead, Lansbury has struggled to find any real consistent form, fitness or playing time at Villa Park.

Whether it be Conor Hourihane, Birkir Bjarnason, Glenn Whelan, Josh Onomah or Mile Jedinak – Lansbury is simply not in the picture.  

NOTTINGHAM, ENGLAND – OCTOBER 14: Henry Lansbury of Forest celebrates scoring only to have the goal disallowed by Referee Jeremy Simpson after speaking with his linesman during the Sky Bet Championship match between Nottingham Forest and Birmingham City at the City Ground on October 14, 2016 in Nottingham, England. (Photo by Richard Heathcote/Getty Images)

This season the 27-year-old has started just five games in the Championship for the club. A hamstring injury earlier this term did not help, but even when fully-fit he is down in the pecking order.

If Livermore arrives, that will surely be that for the midfielder.

It will be a massive shame for him to have not had the desired impact at Villa. But at such a young age and with years of quality Championship experience on his CV, plenty of teams will come calling.

Villa will just hope to get their £3 million back on a player who never quite settled at Villa Park.

Aston Villa

James Bree must make an impact at Aston Villa next season

The right-back needs to make an impact at Villa this season.

Mathew Nash

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It has been a tough summer for Aston Villa. The club failed to win promotion to the Premier League after a play-off final defeat to Fulham. That defeat at Wembley soon became even more significant, as Villa’s financial issues came to the fore.

Two summers of overspending without the reward of promotion means the club are in serious financial peril. Aston Villa are now set to offload some of their prized possessions, such as Jack Grealish, James Chester and Jonathan Kodjia.

For some players, the lack of funds at Aston Villa will present them with a chance. One such player is James Bree.

The former Barnsley man has been telling the Express and Star this week all about his hopes for the season, suggesting Villa are still looking at a promotion push.

(during the Sky Bet Championship Play Off Semi Final second leg match between Aston Villa and Middlesbrough at Villa Park on May 15, 2018 in Birmingham, England.

It might also be a season where Bree features more regularly. He played just 10 times last season but with Villa now unable to bring in big name new signings, Bree might get a chance at right-back.

Everyone wants to get promotion every year, no matter what’s going on.

“I think that’s what we’ve got to push for. We’ve just got to go and see what happens this season.”

– James Bree on Aston Villla’s promotion hopes

Signed for a fee in the region of £3 million the former Barnsley man must grab this opportunity. There is still competition at right-back. Alan Hutton signed a new deal, Ahmed Elmohamady can play the role and Ritchie De Laet has returned from a loan spell.

Bree will need to prove he is a player Aston Villa can count on in their season of need. If he cannot make the breakthrough in the current circumstances, then he may never do so at Villa Park.

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Aston Villa

Is Corey Blackett-Taylor’s in last chance saloon at Aston Villa?

The 20-year-old will be hoping to play for Aston Villa this season.

Mathew Nash

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Aston Villa are facing a difficult summer and, it seems, a difficult season. The club is in turmoil off the pitch. Since Aston Villa failed to win promotion to the Premier League it has emerged that the club is struggling financially. It appears they cannot currently sign players and are in fact trying to offload some of their current talent in order to get by.

With that in mind, Aston Villa may need to bring through some of their young players next season.

So is this season set to be a breakout campaign for attacker Corey Blackett-Taylor?

(Photo by Clive Mason/Getty Images)

The 20-year-old has impressed for the Aston Villa youth teams in recent times and he has all the natural attributes to make it into the first-team set-up. Capable of playing on the right or left wing the England youth international signed a new deal with the club in April, suggesting he does have a future at Villa Park.

He played 15 times for the Aston Villa under-23s last season and was one of their best players. With four goals and two assists, he looked like a player ready to take the step up.

It has to be now, or it will surely be never. His extension is until next summer and the wideman turns 21-years-old in September.

If Blackett-s not playing regular football at Aston Villa next season, then his long-term future would seem to be elsewhere.

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Burnley should pursue Aston Villa sensation Jack Grealish

Sean Dyche has signed quality from the Championship in the past.

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Jack Grealish
Photo: Getty Images

Burnley boss Sean Dyche is one of the very best English managers currently plying their trade in the Premier League and it remains to be seen whether he will get a shot at one of the country’s biggest jobs.

Dyche has done an incredible job in establishing the Clarets as a Premier League outfit and their stunning campaign during 2017/18 saw the club rewarded with a place in the coming season’s Europa League.

The 47-year-old isn’t particularly interested in shopping for stellar recruits and with one of the top flight’s smallest budgets he has previously recruited especially well from the Championship.

Chris Wood, Jeff Hendrick, Charlie Taylor and Robbie Brady have all arrived at Turf Moor from second tier clubs in recent years and it is clear that Dyche is open to signing the league’s very best talent.

With Burnley about to embark on a European adventure the lure of joining the Lancashire-based club has now increased and Dyche might once again look towards the Championship to tempt Jack Grealish away from Aston Villa.

It seems unlikely that the 22-year-old will remain at Villa Park as the beaten Championship play-off finalists battle severe financial difficulties this summer, with several of their first-team set to be the subject of interest from elsewhere.

Grealish is one of the country’s hottest properties and although bigger clubs might be interested in acquiring his signature the chance to play regular first-team football in the Premier League, and in European competition, might act as a massive incentive for the player.

With the right manager overseeing his development Grealish could become of the of the best talents in the Premier League in future years and Dyche might be just the tonic for a player who has previously lost his way somewhat.

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