Why Aston Villa should hand a short-term deal to James Collins
According to a report from Birmingham Live, new Aston Villa boss Dean Smith will assess James Collins and decide whether to hand him a contract or not.
The veteran centre-back remains a free agent after leaving West Ham at the end of last season. He has been training with Aston Villa for some time now and was close to earning a deal under Steve Bruce before the club sacked the manager.
James Collins, however, is currently looking to reach full fitness following a hamstring problem earlier in the month.
After shipping 20 league goals in 13 games, managing to keep just two clean sheets and winning just four times, it is very clear Villa are in dire need of defensive reinforcements. Dean Smith, who arrived as Steve Bruce’s replacement, leaving Brentford earlier this month, will have to take some big decisions.
Axel Tuanzebe and James Chester are the only proven options in central defence right now, with Mile Jedinak and James Bee capable of filling in whenever required. But Jedinak has struggled in central defence this season after Bruce paired him alongside Chester, meaning Smith must avoid repeating what his predecessor did.
Villa’s main problems have been in the defence as they have the second-worst defensive record with only Preston North End conceding more goals this term. Smith needs a quick fix and he would do a good job by handing Collins a short-term deal.
Collins, 35, started out at Cardiff City before joining West Ham in 2005. He established himself as a West Ham legend after spending nine seasons at the London club across two spells before leaving the club at the end of last season. The Welshman also had a spell with Villa, making 108 appearances before joining West Ham for his second spell.
There is a huge lack of defensive personnel at Villa Park and Collins could be the answer to the club’s woes. Collins would bring a wealth of experience with him if he joins Villa as they seriously lack options at the heart of their defence.
At this point in time, the former Wales international seems like a perfect short-term solution to Villa’s problems at the back.
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Without a shadow of a doubt, Collins would be a major upgrade on Villa’s current defenders and could have a similar impact to that of John Terry last season. He would definitely be a solid addition for Smith’s side.