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Dean Smith and Aston Villa thrashing out January plans

By Matt Maher | Aston Villa | Published: | Last Updated:

Villa are set to finalise their plans for the January transfer window during the next few weeks with boss Dean Smith keen to bolster his squad.

Dean Smith

Smith anticipates being in the market for a number of targets after holding initial talks with the club’s chief executive Christian Purslow and sporting director Jesus Garcia Pitarch.

The head coach is also keeping tabs on the club’s loan players, several of whom have recall options.

Smith has been promised funds to strengthen despite Villa’s ongoing Financial Fair Play concerns.

Adding depth to a defence which has conceded 23 goals in just 15 games is thought to be a priority.

Smith explained: “We are going to be looking in the January market for a number of players.

“Between myself, Suso (Pitarch) and Christian we have got our heads together and come up with a plan.

“We will be having further recruitment meetings in the next week or two.

“You have to plan. You can’t get to January 1 and think ‘right, what are we going to do now?’

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“There is a lot of planning going into it and a big part of what Suso has been involved in so far.

“Myself, John (Terry) and Richard (O’Kelly) sat down with Suso the other day and have all put in some good ideas. We will move forward on that.”

Smith revealed his assistants, Richard O’Kelly and John Terry, have been in touch with every player currently out on loan.

O’Kelly has also been to watch defenders Mitch Clark and Tommy Elphick in action for Port Vale and Hull respectively.

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“We are aware of all the players out on loan,” he said. “Richard has been out and watched Mitch.

“He and JT have touched base with each player who is out on loan already.

“Rich went to watch Tommy (Elphick) play at Bristol City. We have a number of players out on loan and it is prudent for us to stay in touch and let them know they are still valuable assets to the club.”

Matt Maher

By Matt Maher

Chief sports writer for the Express & Star.

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