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Aston Villa supporters knew that life will not be a bed of roses in the Premier League even after spending over £100 million in the summer transfer window, but little had they imagined that Dean Smith’s side will be drawn into a relegation battle and the possibility of doing another Fulham would come back to haunt them.
Ahead of the Boxing Day, Villa find themselves at 18th in the Premier League. They have scored 24 goals and have conceded 33. They have won only one game away from home thus far, and have lost 11 games this season. And now, they’re without their talisman John McGinn as well through injury.
It leaves Smith with no other option but to delve into the January transfer market once again. Here are some of the possible candidates Villa might look to when they start planning for transfer shopping next month.
The former Barcelona attacking midfielder has dropped down the pecking order at Stamford Bridge and looks all set to leave the club.
The 2016-17 Premier League winner has been linked with a move to Villa Park in January, and he would be a shrewd signing for the club. The three-time Champions League winner would bring the much-needed quality Villa are lacking in the final third.
With only a few months left on his current deal, Pedro is likely to arrive on cheap. The deal would suit all parties involved.
Rhian Brewster (Liverpool)
Having played in Liverpool’s two League Cup games, and being heavily praised by Jurgen Klopp time and again, the hype surrounding the 19-year-old is not wide of the mark.
However, the Reds are choc-a-bloc with world-class players at the moment in his position, and as such Klopp cannot offer him regular game time which is needed for his development.
A loan move away from Anfield is ideal, and Villa are thought to be interested in him. However, Smith’s side are expected to face competition from the likes of Swansea and Leeds United.
Alfredo Morelos (Rangers)
The Villa boss has made no secret of his admiration for the Colombian who has scored 27 goals in all competitions for Glasgow Rangers this season.
Rangers know that they are powerless to prevent him from leaving Ibrox, but Steven Gerrard has made it clear that the striker is not for sale this January. With the Gers themselves in the middle of a title race, it is obvious they would want to hold on to their star striker.
However, Villa have money to spend, and a ridiculous offer for Morelos could see Rangers softening their stance.
Aleksandar Mitrovic (Fulham)
With 17 goals in the Championship this season, Mitrovic has found life comfortable in London after falling out of love last season under Claudio Ranieri.
The 25-year-old is therefore seen as a potential option who could turn it around for Villa. Fulham are also in the race for promotion this season, and losing Mitrovic will be a devastating blow for them.
However, money speaks. And Villa are desperate.
Said Benrahma (Brentford)
Smith has not lost his admiration for the 24-year-old winger who keeps on dazzling for Brentford in the second tier of English football.
Brentford are demanding a fee in the region of £20m for the winger, but the asking price is proving to be a stumbling block for the Premier League outfit.
Villa apparently do not have the money to sign the player who has scored three goals and provided five assists in the Championship this season.