Dean Smith provides Aston Villa transfer update as striker leaves the club
Dean Smith has reiterated the importance of having Aston Villa having the option of making loan deals permanent, following the capture of Kortney Hause.
The defender arrived on loan this week from nearby Wolverhampton Wanderers and will remain at Villa Park for the remainder of the season.
Should all things run smoothly, and all parties be in agreement, then the claret and blues will have first refusal on the signature of Hause in the summer.
It was a clause Smith insisted on, having arrived at the club in October and key squad members Axel Tuanzebe, Yannick Bolasie, Tammy Abraham and Anwar El Ghazi all on loan deals.
Marco Silva has cooled speculation that Everton midfielder James McCarthy might leave the club on loan this month.
Irishman McCarthy had been tipped to leave Goodison Park for the remainder of the season, with the potential of building up his match fitness after a significant period of time on the sidelines.
The midfielder played only six matches last season before being ruled out the remainder of the campaign when an unfortunate collision with West Brom forward Salomon Rondon resulted in a double leg break, in a match where the Toffees and the Baggies shared the points in January.
Paul Cook has lauded Aston Villa as he prepares to go toe to toe with Dean Smith at the DW Stadium this weekend.
Wigan Athletic welcome the claret and blues on Saturday in rather wretched form; the last three months have seen them produce a single win – that’s 14 matches.
Worryingly for Cook, they’ve lost ten of those and fired blanks in eight.
A good time for Villa to face the Latics, then? Smith was particularly cautious when asked on Thursday at his press conference and won’t be taking the fixture lightly.
Cook, though, was happy to praise this weekend’s opponents and outlined Villa as one of the sides his promoted Wigan were looking forward to facing before the season began.
Serie A interest
Aston Villa midfielder Aaron Tshibola has been linked with a surprise move to Serie A before the month is out.
The claret and blue midfielder has spent the first half of this season back north of the border with Kilmarnock, whom under former Villa coach Steve Clarke are thriving.
Tshibola, still only 24, has made only ten appearances to date and none at all since the 1-0 defeat at Wolves in January 2017.
Since, he’s had two separate spells with Killie in Scotland, and also stints with MK Dons and Nottingham Forest.
Jesus Garcia Pitarch is being kept busy as Aston Villa hunt for more recruits this month.
The sporting director, unveiled at the same time as manager Dean Smith and his back-room staff in October, has already overseen deals with Gent and Wolves for Lovre Kalinic and Kortney Hause respectively and Smith has confirmed that Pitarch’s foot remains on the gas as the claret and blues look to bring more players into the club.
Smith, Pitarch and chief executive Christian Purslow are in constant contact on the transfer front and it seems likely that, having already captured two new signings, Villa are far from done.
“There’s things going on at the moment,” Smith said. “Our sporting director is busy at work trying to bring people into the football club.
“We’ve got targets out there and that’ll continue until the end of the window.”
What might’ve been
James Collins has revealed he ‘terminated’ his Aston Villa contract a matter of hours after signing it.
It’s understood Villa agreed to re-sign Collins on a short-term contract in December after the former Wales international impressed Dean Smith in training.
However, after signing his contract in the morning, Collins went out onto Bodymoor Heath’s training pitches and suffered an injury.
He said: “I went up to Villa, my old club and I know the people up there. I trained, and did well, and got offered a short-term deal but unfortunately, the morning I signed it, I picked up a little injury so I terminated that contract myself straight away.
“I got fit and luckily got the call from Paul Lambert.”
Rushian Hepburn-Murphy has joined League Two side Cambridge United on loan until the end of the season.
The striker, 20, has linked up with former Aston Villa assistant manager Colin Calderwood, who is now boss of the U’s.
Hepburn-Murphy was heavily involved with the first team in the opening weeks of the season under Steve Bruce but has dropped back down to the under-23s since Dean Smith took charge in October.
Hepburn-Murphy shot to prominence as a 16-year-old in making his Premier League debut against Sunderland in 2015.
Robert reveals all
Aston Villa might have signed Kortney Hause on loan from Wolverhampton Wanderers – but Dean Smith could yet dip into the market for another defender.
Hause joined Wolves earlier this week, initially on loan but with a view to a permanent transfer, to become Smith’s second signing of the January window following the acquisition of Croatia goalkeeper Lovre Kalinic.
Smith has previously admitted his concern with Villa’s defensive options and recalled Tommy Elphick from Hull City at the beginning of the month.
Villa now have James Chester, Elphick, Hause and Axel Tuanzebe to choose from although the latter is currently unavailable due to a foot injury.
A new dimension
Ritchie De Laet left Aston Villa in the summer after being told he’d be fourth choice right-back – a message he clearly took to heart.
The Belgian defender has since reinvented himself in Australia and started Melbourne City’s 1-0 win over Brisbane Roar in attack earlier today.
Lucas Radbourne of FTBL writes: “De Laet played as a false nine for Melbourne and managed to bag the winning goal.
“He didn’t look convincing playing as a sort of false nine, roaming number 10, night watchman, whatever it was, in the first half. He’s not a striker, not a playmaker. He naturally pushed out wide from semi-dangerous central positions to put in crosses.
“But he is a very good-quality footballer, he exploited Brisbane’s lackadaisical defending, created space for himself and easily latched onto a cross to give City the lead.”
What might’ve been
Harold Moukoudi is the one that got away from Aston Villa.
The claret and blues agreed a £7million deal with Ligue 2 club Le Havre to sign Moukoudi in August but the player rejected the move.
Moukoudi was flown into Birmingham and given a tour of the club’s facilities before discussing personal terms.
Despite Moukoudi being impressed by Villa Park and the club’s Bodymoor Heath training complex, not to mention the increased financial reward on offer, he chose to stay in France.
The 21-year-old defender wasn’t ready to leave France and his family behind.