Here are two players Aston Villa must offload in January
Aston Villa have had a torrid time in the opening 12 gameweeks of the Championship season, winning just three matches.
Steve Bruce’s misery finally came to an end as the Aston Villa board sacked him after the 3-3 home draw against Preston North End. A 2-1 loss at Millwall before the international break under caretaker manager Kevin MacDonald saw the Villans drop down to 15th place in the table.
Dean Smith was appointed as the new Aston Villa manager last week as the club aims to restore some stability. Smith, who is a lifelong Villa fan, is certain to encourage an exciting brand of football, having earned a lot of praise for his work at Brentford over the last few years.
However, the 47-year-old needs to take some bold decisions and offload some deadwood in order to get the players he wants in January. That being said, here are two players Aston Villa must offload in January.
Mile Jedinak has been a fantastic performer ever since he joined Aston Villa from Crystal Palace. However, the Australian has turned 34 and is no more the kind of force he once was in his prime.
Former manager Steve Bruce’s decision to use Jedinak in central defence earlier this season flopped as the veteran lacked the defensive capabilities and awareness needed in a proper centre-back.
Truth be told, it wasn’t Jedinak’s fault as he was told to play in central defence. But going by his overall performances so far this season, the Australian has started slowing down.
With Smith expected to make Villa play a possession-based, high-intensity brand of football, Jedinak could find it very difficult to cope with it. Hence, the time would be ripe in January for Villa to offload the veteran Australian.
Another player who has entered the twilight of his career, Glenn Whelan hasn’t quite lived up to the expectations since moving to Villa Park.
At 34, Whelan is not going to improve any further and Villa already have young midfield options to run the show. John McGinn is a guaranteed starter, whilst Jack Grealish could come into the midfield under the new manager. Birkir Bjarnason brings a different dimension to the team.
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With that in mind, Smith must offload Whelan in January.