Aston Villa secured promotion back to the top-flight last season after a three-year stay in the second tier.
Dean Smith took over from Steve Bruce towards the start of the campaign and led Villa to a 5th place finish in the Championship table.
Villa overcame Frank Lampard’s Derby County in the play-off final at Wembley in May, winning 2-1 thanks to goals from Anwar El Ghazi and John McGinn. This was after they beat local rivals West Brom on penalties in the semi-finals.
Since their promotion, Villa have been very busy in the transfer market and made a host of signings so far. Matt Targett, Anwar El Ghazi, Wesley, Jota and Kortney Hause have all joined the club on permanent deals.
With all these new additions, plus potential signings that have been touted with moves to Villa this summer, we have taken a look at how Dean Smith could line his side up in the Premier League…
Butland has been heavily linked with a move to Villa so far this summer. The England international impressed in the Championship with Stoke City last season.
The former Hull defender looks set to keep his place at right-back next season. The club could, however, sign some competition for his place to improve his performances.
After signing on a permanent deal from Wolves this summer, Hause will be hoping that he is given the chance to nail down his place in Villa’s Premier League XI. The defender looked composed in the Championship during the second half of the campaign.
Villa are being touted with a swoop for Bristol City star Adam Webster. The talented English central defender would be a superb signing for the club if they could get him in.
Despite Neil Taylor played at left-back for Villa in the Championship, we predict Targett to start. Having joined from Southampton for £14m, Targett is unlikely to be sitting on the bench.
Villa need a defensive midfield to anchor their team next season. With Kalvin Phillips looking set to stay at Leeds, the club could target Club Brugge midfielder Marvelous Nakamba, who caught the eye last season.
No doubts over his place in the Villa team. The club’s Player of the Season last term, McGinn will look to make a similar impact in the Premier League for Dean Smith’s side.
Another no brainer here. Grealish is Villa’s captain and will be aiming to prove that he can make it in the Premier League – to boost his chances of an England call-up.
The Spanish winger picked up 11 assists in the Championship for Birmingham next season and will now look to pin down a place in Villa’s team. Jota worked with Smith at Brentford and already has a good connection with the former Walsall and Brentford boss.
The towering striker has been brought in to replace Tammy Abraham for Villa. The club-record signing will surely be a regular starter for Villa in the Premier League for Villa next season.
Anwar El Ghazi
El Ghazi enjoyed a good season on loan to Aston Villa last term and has now signed for the club permanently. He’ll be hoping to up his game and catch the eye in the top-flight against the best of the best.
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