Aston Villa have been busy in the transfer market this summer as they look to build a squad ready for the Premier League next season.
Dean Smith has already added Anwar El Ghazi, Kortney Hause, Jota, Matt Targett and Wesley to his squad in the last two months, with more expected to come in before the end of the window.
Villa secured promotion back to the top-flight, after a three-year absence, in May as they beat Derby County 2-1 in the play-off final at Wembley – with El Ghazi, who was on loan at the time, and John McGinn scored the goals.
One position Villa still need to strengthen in is defensive midfield, as Smith looks to add more steel to his side – to play in a three with McGinn and Jack Grealish.
With that in mind, here are some defensive midfielders Villa could look to sign this summer…
Phillips has been heavily linked with a move to Villa this summer. The midfielder was superb for Leeds in the Championship last season and was named in the Team of the Season, as they finished 3rd.
The defensive midfielder impressed for Club Brugge last season, alongside Villa’s Wesley. He has been touted with a switch to Villa Park in recent weeks, which suggests this could be a realistic target.
Rode is reportedly set to leave Borussia Dortmund for £5m this summer. Villa could look to swoop and bring the German over to England ahead of next season, following his impressive performances for Frankfurt on loan.
Chambers was relegated with Fulham last season, but impressed in a holding midfield role. Arsenal could be prepared to let him leave again this summer and Villa would be an ideal destination for the former Southampton man.
Garcia spent last season out on loan to Spanish side Girona from Manchester City. Villa could look to secure a permanent deal for the Spanish holding midfielder, who has tasted first-team football with City in the Premier League.
Billing could be open to a return to the Premier League with Villa following Huddersfield’s relegation. The young Dane has a lot of potential and could be a great addition to Smith’s squad.
Another midfielder from Huddersfield, Jonathan Hogg is a robust defensive-minded player. He could add experience and steel to Villa’s squad next season if they brought him to Villa Park.