Aston Villa transfer news: How the Villans could look next season with record-signing Wesley Moraes, Jack Butland and Leeds star Kalvin Phillips

1 Jul

Aston Villa’s promotion to the Premier League was met with jubilant celebrations and sighs of relief from large sections of the West Midlands.

Dean Smith’s side beat Derby County 2-1 at Wembley to end a three-year exile from the top flight, but the boyhood Villa fan instantly set about building a squad capable of staying up as soon as the champagne had dried off his suit.

Aston Villa are back in the Premier League and looking to stay there

Villa have already signed Jota from rivals Birmingham City, while Anwar El Ghazi and Kourtney Hause have made their loan moves permanent.

Club-record signing Wesley Moraes is expected to be confirmed on July 1 once work permit issues have been ratified, with the 17-goal striker making his £22million move from Club Brugge official.

Smith is still working hard to bring Tyrone Mings back to the club, with the Daily Express claiming the Villans want to add six more signings to their squad.

Jack Butland of Stoke is an option in goal, with Ethan Ampadu, Leeds star Kalvin Phillips and Brentford winger Said Benrahma also under consideration.

Jack Butland currently plays for Stoke City in the Championship

With John McGinn and Jack Grealish set to stay after superb seasons in the Championship, Villa could quite easily have a squad capable of challenging for a top half finish in the Premier League.

So how could Smith’s starting XI for next season look? Check it out below.

Last season, Smith alternated between a 4-3-3 formation and a 4-4-1-1, depending on who the opposition was. If, for instance, they were playing a more defensive team at home, Smith would drop Grealish back into midfield alongside McGinn and Glenn Whelan.

This would allow Villa to attack from deep and get their playmakers on the ball to create chances for former loanee Tammy Abraham up front and then supply into the wide areas where the full backs were given license to roam past their inverted wingers.

Kalvin Phillips starred for Leeds in the 2018/19 campaign, with Aston Villa now primed to move for the midfielder
Getty Images

While Whelan and Neil Taylor performed dutifully last year, the introduction of Phillips into midfield and Matt Targett from Southampton at left-back adds greater mobility to the side.

If, however, they play sides who expect to dominate the ball and will try to pass Villa to death, Smith can implement a 4-4-1-1 formation to solidify his team, with Grealish playing in a more advanced role to feed off scraps from the lone striker.

Dean Smith has a multitude of options ahead of the new season if he gets the signings he wants