Aston Villa’s defensive issues have been well-documented this season.
Without Sam Johnstone in goal and John Terry in defence, Aston Villa have had to adjust to a new back line.
Orjan Nyland is still acclimatising to English football and has been sloppy so far, although Mark Bunn and Andre Moreira are scarcely pushing him for the starting spot.
And then the defence is light on numbers. Steve Bruce was often playing Mile Jedinak – a natural central midfielder – at centre-back.
In Axel Tuanzebe and James Chester, Aston Villa have a decent central defensive partnership, when on form.
But the lack of depth will be concerning Dean Smith, who might be prompted into some January action.
However, he should consider the options right under his nose before looking to spend money in the new year.
Tommy Elphick has been a success at centre-half for Hull City since joining them on loan – could a possible recall be on the cards?
This would be a cheaper alternative than trying to bring in a new face. It could allow Smith to save his pennies to strengthen in other problem areas.
Elphick stands at 6ft 2in tall and has had a difficult time at Aston Villa.
But the 31-year-old’s form at Hull could give him the confidence to thrive if he returns to Villa Park.
As a back-up choice to Chester and Tuanzebe, Elphick would be a useful member of the squad.