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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.

Sports journalist based in Bristol. Previously spent five years writing for HITC Sport. Everton fan for my sins.

Aston Villa

Aston Villa’s hopes of getting Isaac Success now look doomed

The Nigerian forward has been included in the Watford squad for the season and even featured on the opening day of the season.

Mathew Nash

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The Premier League transfer window may be closed, but teams in the Championship can still make crucial additions. Aston Villa are still playing catch-up from their early summer financial issues and, therefore, could be active in the final two weeks they have.

One player that has been linked with a move to Villa Park is Watford attacker Isaac Success. As reported by TEAMtalk, Aston Villa had made a move for the Nigerian striker. A forgotten man at Vicarage Road, he had once cost £12.5 million to bring to Hertfordshire. However, Success found little of his namesake at Vicarage Road and is now down the pecking order with the Hornets.

But it looks as though any hopes of Aston Villa signing Success are slim.

(Photo by James Williamson – AMA/Getty Images)

Watford named their Premier League squad this week for the upcoming campaign. At number nine in the list, sits Success.

Watford failed in attempts to bring in another striker during the Premier League transfer window. With only Troy Deeney and Andre Gray ahead of him and Stefano Okaka and Adalberto Penaranda linked with moves abroad before the end of the month, Success is likely to stay.

Aston Villa will have to look elsewhere if they are going to find themselves a new striker for the season.

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Aston Villa

One to Watch: Jack Grealish proves Aston Villa worth in victory over Wigan

The 22-year-old has shown maturity far beyond his age.

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Photo: Getty Images

Jack Grealish saw his name float amongst the tabloids throughout the summer’s transfer window, where he was widely linked with a Premier League switch.

The England U21 international developed into one of the finest players outside of the top-flight last season and the general consensus is that the very top of the game is calling the 22-year-old, though he’s focused on Villa’s promotion push for now.

Tottenham Hotspur were the biggest suitors for Grealish in the summer, seeing a £25m bid rejected, and the club’s valuation of the midfielder was proven to be correct as he shone during a gloomy afternoon in the Midlands on Saturday.

(Photo by Neville Williams/Aston Villa FC via Getty Images)

Here, just days after the window slammed shut to end any chance of a move to the Premier League, Grealish got his head down and worked his socks off in a thrilling 3-2 victory over Wigan – looking bright on the ball and earning an electric reception from the home faithful.

It is little surprise that Villa want at least £30m for the midfield star and the reality is that a price in that region would still be a snip in the modern window for a player of Grealish’s capability – as identified by boss Steve Bruce.

“He reproduced the form that he produced last year that made him into a £30m footballer and he looked it today, every penny a £30m footballer. For me, he was head and shoulders above anyone else on the pitch. That’s how good he was.”

– Bruce was full of praise for Grealish after the game.

Bruce has proven to be a father figure in football for the midfielder, quickly putting his arm around Grealish after the final whistle following a game where Grealish was kicked from pillar to post by Wigan, doing well not to react.

It will be a tough test for Villa and Grealish this season, with Bruce’s side picked amongst the favourites to earn a return to the Premier League, with anything less being considered a failure, and Grealish expected to be the player that leads the charge to promotion.

In other campaigns that may have proven to be a concern but Grealish has shown an incredible amount of maturity in the recent months, choosing to focus on his football rather than get drawn into the lengthy sagas that emerge in the transfer market.

It wouldn’t have been surprising, perhaps even understood, if Grealish handed in a transfer request to seal a move to Tottenham, where he would become another England ace under the guidance of Mauricio Pochettino – potentially even have the chance to push into Gareth Southgate’s squad.

(Photo by Neville Williams/Aston Villa FC via Getty Images)

It’s the sort of situation that has been witnessed time and time before. Player’s head is turned, a player pushes for transfer, a transfer is completed – but the old saying that the grass is not always greener elsewhere would have likely to be proven true.

At Spurs, Grealish would not have been guaranteed first-team football every week, he would not have been a star man and would simply have been a member of Pochettino’s supporting cast – a polar opposite to where he stands at Villa.

Having the maturity to shun all the transfer talk, put his head down and show a performance like he did against Wigan proves once again that Grealish has all the capabilities to go right to the top. Staying at Villa was certainly the right decision and the young talent looks focused, determined and full of flair.

As he said just hours after the transfer window closed on Thursday, it’s time to get to work – and Grealish has hit the ground running.

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Most Aston Villa fans are baffled by Carlos Sanchez to West Ham transfer

The Colombian struggled during his time at Aston Villa.

Mathew Nash

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West Ham United take on Liverpool in their opening Premier League fixture later today. There is plenty of excitement around the London Stadium for the upcoming season. Some excellent transfer business means fans might be treated to the league debuts of Jack Wilshere, Andriy Yarmolenko and Felipe Anderson this afternoon.

Another man who will hope to be in the West Ham line-up is Colombian midfielder Carlos Sanchez.

He became West Ham’s 10th signing of the summer when he joined on transfer deadline day. It was a deal which shocked the fans at Aston Villa.  

Because Sanchez has played in claret and blue in the Premier League before, with the Midlands side.

(Photo by Neville Williams/Aston Villa FC via Getty Images)

It is fair to say, he never did much to impress at Aston Villa.

He played 56 times for the club over two seasons but was part of the Villa team that finished way off the pace at the bottom of the top-flight in 2015-16. So he is not exactly fondly remembered by fans at Villa Park.

Many Villa fans on Twitter were dumfounded with West Ham’s decision to sign the 32-year-old from Fiorentina.

When you consider he had a fairly poor World Cup with Colombia this summer as well, Aston Villa fans are right to question such a deal.

Hammers fans will hope the warnings from the Championship club’s fanbase prove unfounded this season …

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