Dean Smith expecting quiet January transfer window for Aston Villa

Dean Smith expects a relatively quiet transfer window for Villa with the club set to take a pragmatic approach to their January business.

Dean Smith.
Dean Smith.

Villa spent big during the most recent summer window and the early success of new arrivals including Emiliano Martinez and Ollie Watkins has put them in a strong position as the season heads toward the midway point.

Adding another forward next month is a possibility with Bournemouth’s Josh King again a target. But any move will depend on the fitness of Wesley, who is nearing a return from a serious knee injury and could be back to bolster Smith’s attacking options toward the end of next month.

Goalkeeper Lovre Kalinic will depart on loan to Hajduk Split when the Croatian window opens on January 18.

Midfielder Henri Lansbury, who was omitted from Villa’s Premier League squad, will be given the chance to move on while offers are also anticipated for right-back Frederic Guilbert.

But otherwise Villa are eager to keep their options open, ready to move should circumstances significantly change.

Such a scenario occurred 12 months ago when serious injuries to Wesley, John McGinn and Tom Heaton lead to a much busier window than anticipated.

Smith said: “We are looking at it in general in terms of whether there is anything we need to do.

“We are certainly not desperate in terms of players we need to bring in or go out. We have our finger on the pulse but I don’t envision us doing an awful lot, to be honest.

“January are difficult and yes, it is going to be a pragmatic approach. We have a number of games until we get to January and a number of games in January. We will see how it goes but our sporting director Johan Lange certainly has his finger on the pulse.”

Smith has, meanwhile, insisted record buy Watkins is not disheartened despite seeing another goal ruled out by a marginal offside call in last Sunday’s win at Albion.

It was the second time the £28m striker has seen a goal overturned on review in recent weeks and he has now gone five matches without scoring.

But Smith said: “Ollie's not the sort of lad that needs to be picked up. He'll feel aggrieved enough to try even harder to score in the next game.

"I was one of those who said on offside decisions 'there's a line now, it doesn't matter if it's a millimetre'. But they've been very marginal.

"The West Ham one should've been a goal or a penalty. They went the other way and they gave something it shouldn't have been.

"To my naked eye, I thought it was onside against West Brom and it was millimetres.

“I thought the defender's shoulder played him on. But they're the ones with the technology. Ollie won't need any picking up, he'll be keen to get back on track."

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