Aston Villa have appointed Dean Smith as their new manager to replace Steve Bruce and his first task will be to solve the defence. The Birmingham-based club have conceded 20 goals in the Championship this season. This ranks them at the joint second-worst defence in the division.
For a side expected to challenge for promotion, that isn’t good enough and it needs to be corrected sooner rather than later.
A major reason for their frailties at the back is their lack of options at centre-back. They have used Axel Tuanzebe, Alan Hutton and Mile Jedinak at centre-back, but they could do with another natural in the position.
It remains to be seen how much influence Smith will have over transfers. If he is allowed to suggest targets, it wouldn’t be a surprise to see Villa target Chris Mepham.
Mepham has emerged as one of the best in the Championship under the tutelage of Smith at Brentford. His performances have attracted Premier League interest and earned him a place in the Wales squad.
At the age of 20, he has a huge future ahead of him. Mepham would be an ambitious signing, but it could now be possible after the appointment of Smith.