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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 Nash



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.

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

Aston Villa

Aston Villa must target these three loan signing before the window closes

The Championship outfit are still in the market for new additions before the loan window closes.



Aston Villa
Photo: Getty Images

Aston Villa had looked to be heading into the 2018/19 campaign under strict financial implications but new ownership at the club has offered a new lease of life.

With new recruits hard to come by during the summer, boss Steve Bruce will now look to make some additions to his squad before the loan window slams shut at the end of the month.

The squad at Bruce’s disposal is still a decent one as far as the Championship goes and the Villains are still expected to be among the frontrunners for a promotion place come the end of the season.

The Boot Room looked at three players who would make quality loan additions between now and the end of the window…

Tammy Abraham

Tammy Abraham

It was Villa talisman Jonathan Kodjia who got the nod to start in attack in Saturday’s 1-1 draw at Ipswich Town, but with the Ivory Coast international only recently back from a serious injury, the club might look towards attacking reinforcements.

Abraham appears to be down the pecking order at Chelsea and, although it might take a hefty loan fee to secure his services, his quality at Championship level is there for all to see.

The 20-year-old only netted five goals on loan at Swansea City last season, but his 23 goals on loan at Bristol City during the 2016/17 campaign should excite the Villa faithful, if a loan deal can be struck.

Sheyi Ojo

The Liverpool winger is subject of interest from Middlesbrough and Nottingham Forest, but Steve Bruce also rates the player highly and could be preparing a move, according to the Daily Star.

The 21-year-old was on loan at Fulham last season and his four goals in 21 appearances helped the Cottages reach the play-off final – where they defeated Aston Villa.

Ojo’s ability to play on either wing would make him a solid addition to the Villa squad and his pace would petrify Championship defenders.

Robert Snodgrass

Although Snodgrass has featured in both of West Ham United’s top-flight games so far this term, there is still a small possibility that he could be loaned out if the right deal comes in.

The Scotsman and Aston Villa were a superb fit for each other last season and the 30-year-old scored eight goals and claimed 13 assists, adhering himself to the Villa faithful in the process.

Snodgrass is a superb player at Championship level and if Bruce can secure another temporary deal for the versatile attacker, the Villains would have every chance of an automatic promotion push.

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Aston Villa

Aston Villa look to have dodged bullet after Toni Leistner’s horror show v West Brom

Aston Villa were keen on the German this summer.

Mathew Nash



QPR addressed their centre-back shortage this summer by bringing in German defender Toni Leistner. It looked like a bargain. He joined the club on a free transfer from FC Union Berlin, where he had established himself as a top defender with a great reputation in the German lower leagues.

They were, however, not the only club interested in the player this summer. Aston Villa were also said to be keen on signing the player according to the Berliner Kurier.

LONDON, ENGLAND – AUGUST 14: Toni Leistner of Queens Park Rangers reacts during the Carabao Cup First Round match between Queens Park Rangers and Peterborough United at Loftus Road on August 14, 2018 in London, England. (Photo by Alex Pantling/Getty Images)

In the end, Leistner headed to London. However, based on Leistner’s performance against Aston Villa’s rivals West Brom this weekend, it seems Steve Bruce has dodged a bullet.

The German was torn apart by the Baggies attacking prowess of Jay Rodriguez, Matty Phillips and Dwight Gayle.

He looked absolutely lost against the West Brom attack as QPR were put to the sword in a stunning 7-1 win from Darren Moore’s side.

Aston Villa looked like they were going to need to bring in centre-backs this season. With the departure of John Terry and Chris Samba you could still argue it is an area where Aston Villa are short.

However, Leistner does not look like he would have been the answer.

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Aston Villa

Aston Villa’s Jed Steer treatment now looks even more baffling

Aston Villa allowed Jed Steer to join Charlton Athletic on loan this month.

Mathew Nash



Aston Villa were held to a 1-1 draw by Ipswich Town yesterday, despite the Tractor Boys being down to 10-men. It was a game to forget for new Aston Villa number one Orjan Nyland.

The Norwegian international came to claim a long-throw midway through the first half. However, he barely got off the ground, spilled the ball, and Trevor Chalobah bagged Ipswich’s equaliser.

It was a big mistake from the £1 million signing from Ingolstadt. It also shed more light on what seems a baffling reshuffle of the goalkeeping department from Aston Villa.

After missing out on Sam Johnstone in the summer, a new recruit was expected. However, Aston Villa also had the bonus of a fit-again Jed Steer in their ranks.

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

The 26-year-old is a very talented keeper, whose career has been blighted by injuries. But he has been a Championship regular, playing 38 games on loan at Huddersfield Town in 2015-16.

Aston Villa started the season with the former England youth international between the sticks. However, the arrival of Nyland and Andre Moreira has seen him pushed down the pecking order yet again.

With that in mind, Steer joined Charlton Athletic on a season-long loan. The Addicks, can probably not believe their luck.

Steer is an excellent keeper who had done little to deserve more Aston Villa demotion. Nyland and Moreira are certainly not better options and it looks like Aston Villa have simply unsettled the goalkeeper position, once again, for little reason. No doubt, this is a baffling decision from Steve Bruce.

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