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Aston Villa

James Bree must take his opportunity at Aston Villa

The full-back may get a first-team chance now that Neil Taylor joined Aston Villa’s injury list.

Mathew Coull

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Aston Villa take on Bolton Wanderers this weekend and will be wanting to get back to winning ways following their shock defeat at the hands of QPR in midweek. Villa will have to do so however with something of a defensive crisis, in particular at full-back.

Neil Taylor suffered a groin injury in the QPR defeat. He joins fellow full-backs Alan Hutton and Axel Tuanzebe on the treatment table, the pair suffering with hamstring strains.

COLCHESTER, ENGLAND – AUGUST 09: James Bree of Aston Villa challenges Kyel Reid of Colchester during the Carabao Cup First Round match between Colchester United and Aston Villa at Colchester Community Stadium on August 9, 2017 in Colchester, England. (Photo by Mike Hewitt/Getty Images)

Aston Villa could of course revert to a three at the back formation. Or this could be the perfect opportunity for James Bree to show what he is capable of.

Villa signed the young defender from Barnsley last January for a fee reported by the Birmingham Mail to be in the region of £3 million. It looked a sharp piece of business for a young defender with bags of potential.

However, his career at Villa Park has so far been mostly bit-part. Bree played just seven times last season after his move and this term has started just once in the Championship.

He was on the bench for the recent QPR game but with so many Villa players missing, surely now is the perfect time to draft him in.

BIRMINGHAM, ENGLAND – SEPTEMBER 12: Neil Taylor of Aston Villa in action during the Sky Bet Championship match between Aston Villa and Middlesbrough at Villa Park on September 12, 2017 in Birmingham, England. (Photo by Nathan Stirk/Getty Images,)

Bree is admittedly more comfortable as a right-back, but he is easily the closest fit and most obvious solution to the left-back shortage.

The 20-year-old is clearly a big talent. However, he has spent too long watching from the bench since the Villa move.

Bree should certainly be given the chance to play at full-back this weekend by Steve Bruce. If Bree gets that chance the youngster needs to make sure he grabs the bull by both horns and reminds Villa just why they shelled out on his precocious talent.

The injuries are undoubtedly a blow, but Bree getting some game time and proving himself to Steve Bruce? That could be the silver lining in this cloudy news.

Aston Villa

Moussa Marega would be perfect for Aston VIlla should they get promoted

Josh Kerr

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Moussa Marega
Photo: Getty Images

According to the Birmingham Mail, Aston Villa are looking to sign Moussa Marega after the Porto striker’s asking price was dropped to £26 million.

Merega’s buy-out clause stood at £35 million, but Porto have been forced to lower their demands due to Financial Fair Play concerns, leaving Steve Bruce’s side in a perfect position to swoop for the Mali international.

The 27-year-old would be an addition of intent for the Villains, and perhaps the marquee signing that the fans would expect, should they be promoted at Wembley on Saturday afternoon.

Steve Bruce’s side were unable to show off their financial power this season due also to Financial Fair Play rules.

However, if they beat Fulham in the play-off final, the claret and blues will be in a position to spend heavily over the summer.

3-year-old Albert Adomah has been a revelation at Villa Park this season, firing 15 goals as well as contributing six assists, leading the scoring efforts for Bruce’s side.

(Photo by Francisco Leong/Getty Images)

However, if the Midlands outfit were to secure promotion on Saturday they would need further additions to adequately equip themselves for the gruelling nature of the Premier League. Marega would help them do just that.

The French-born forward scored 22 goals in the Primeira Liga as Porto ended their five-year wait for a league title, and now it looks as though he is ready for his next challenge, with a transfer appearing imminent.

Porto need to sell, and Villa need to invest if they are to see themselves grow into the Premier League juggernauts they once were, so it could be a move that benefits both parties.

However, the report also suggests that Wolves are in the hunting for the forward and, considering their track-record of attracting Porto stars in the past, the Villains must act quickly if they are to grab themselves an assured European goalscorer.

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Aston Villa would be the perfect platform for Harry Wilson if they are promoted

Josh Kerr

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Photo: Getty Images

Aston Villa are 90 minutes of football away from a return to the Premier League, and they are already looking at potential signings for next season if they are promoted.

The Midlands side face Fulham at Wembley on Saturday in the Championship play-off final with a place in the top flight up for grabs. And, should Villa bring an end to two years outside of the promised lands of the Premier League, they will be determined to recruit properly to prepare themselves for next season.

According to the Scottish SunLiverpool are looking for a loan fee of £250,000 to snag impressive academy prospect, Harry Wilson, in a deal that would also see financial penalties issued should he not get the required amount of first-team action.

Wilson has been one of the brightest prospects in the Reds academy for many years and his recent form in the Championship is highlighting why there is such a buzz for this talented youngster and why the Villains should swoop.

(Photo by Harry Trump/Getty Images)

Since departing for a temporary move to Hull in the January window, the 21-year-old has been in fine form, netting seven goals in 13 appearances to help Nigel Adkins’ side avoid the drop.

The youngster also made his international debut in his first start for Wales under new boss Ryan Giggs and netted a maiden goal for his country against China.

Despite the winger’s talents, it seems impossible to think that Wilson could break into Liverpool’s irreplaceable ‘fab three’ which means another loan move would be the best option for his development, and Villa’s potential promotion to the Premier League could set up the perfect platform in the top-flight for the youngster.

Loan deals are never ideal, permanent signings are what supporters want to see, but this is is a move that could be a benefit for both parties and something Steve Bruce should strongly consider.

The Villains likely have enough quality at their disposal to compete strongly in the Championship again next season, if they don’t win their play-off, Wilson could give them serious depth.

The winger is an elegant and languid play maker in the mould of Jack Grealish, and the combination of the two could get fans very excited for next season.

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Aston Villa’s play-off final is vital regarding the future of Jack Grealish

The 22-year-old has matured significantly under Steve Bruce this season.

Josh Kerr

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Photo: Getty Images

Aston Villa’s day of destiny awaits, and the future of Jack Grealish could also hang on this crucial Wembley fixture.

The 22-year-old has been in wonderful form for The Villans this season, and he showcased his talent in the play-off semi-final over two legs.

Villa edged past Middlesbrough 1-0, with Grealish playing a starring role over and club’s supporters will be desperate to keep their star man.

However, the future of the Solihull born youngster could hinge on whether Steve Bruce’s side gain promotion to the Premier League with a number of clubs set to swoop if Villa don’t reach the top-flight.

According to the Birmingham Mail, Grealish was recently offered a big money move to Leicester but opted to instead stay at Villa Park.

However, if Aston Villa were to fall at the final hurdle at Wembley then it may be difficult for Grealish to focus on another year in the Championship especially if the Premier League comes knocking once again.

The attacking midfielder has blossomed under Bruce this season and has been central to the club’s promotion hopes.

He has really matured over the year and his performances on the pitch have continued to impress those who once doubted whether he would fulfill his potential.

According to reports from the Mirror, Villa will need to cut costs if they fail in the play-offs and Grealish would be one of the club’s more saleable assets.

Grealish would be a huge loss to Villa, but the Midlands side will be full of confidence going into one of football’s richest fixtures.

They will know full well that a win could be the factor that ensures the club are able to withstand elusive offers for some of their top players.

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