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Aston Villa target Premier League experience

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

Villa will target players with Premier League experience during the transfer window with a particular focus on sharpening their attack.

Aston Villa manager Dean Smith

Dean Smith wants to add at least one new centre-forward and a winger, with the boss keen to address a lack of pace in his squad. A central midfielder and right-back are also among Villa’s priorities as they search for quality additions who can help them consolidate in the Premier League next season.

Villa pulled off a remarkable escape from relegation despite scoring just seven goals in their final 12 matches and there are question marks over the future of £8.5million striker Mbwana Samatta, who netted only once after joining from Genk in January.

Jota, Henri Lansbury and Anwar El Ghazi could also depart having struggled to make an impact over the course of the campaign.

Villa spent £140m on a necessary squad overhaul during the last two transfer windows, with the majority of their signings previously untested in the Premier League.

This time they are looking for between four and five additions and will prioritise players already proven in the top flight.

Adding a striker is imperative with record signing Wesley, who saw his season cut short by a serious knee injury, not expected back until October at the earliest. Tom Heaton may also miss the start of the campaign but Villa are not likely to target a new goalkeeper.

Smith will sit down with chief executive Christian Purslow in the next fortnight to further discuss the club’s strategy.

Matt Maher

By Matt Maher

Chief sports writer for the Express & Star.

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