2015/16 season preview: Aston Villa

143px-Aston_Villa.svgTim Sherwood worked his magic on Aston Villa last season to help the Villains to yet another near escape from the drop. However with the likes of Christian Benteke and Fabian Delph leaving Villa Park, do this squad have what it takes to survive another season?

Manager: Tim Sherwood
Home ground: Villa Park
Last season: 17th
Highest EPL accolade: Runners-up (1993)

Star Man

Brad Guzan signed from Chivas USA in 2008 image: sportingnews.com

Brad Guzan signed from Chivas USA in 2008
image: sportingnews.com

With the departures of high-profile players, it was difficult to pick a star man among this bunch but in the end I feel goalkeeper Brad Guzan might be Villa’s star man this season and could have a busy campaign in between the posts.

Despite losing his place to Shay Given towards the end of last season, the American has a point to prove and has proven over the past few seasons, he is a very good player with a string of top saves vital to Villa’s survival last season.

The departure of Ron Vlaar could make the Villa defence less solid this season and Villa will need a goalkeeper in form to keep the back away from the back of the net. Villa need a big season from the 30-year-old or it could be difficult season for the Villains.

Key Transfers

IN
Scott Sinclair (Man City – Undisclosed), Micah Richards (Man City – Free), Mark Bunn (Norwich – Free), Idrissa Gueye (Lille – Undisclosed), Jordan Amavi (Nice – Undisclosed), Jose Angel Crespo (Cordoba – Undisclosed), Jordan Ayew (Lorient – Undisclosed), Rudy Gestede (Blackburn – Undisclosed), Jordan Veretout (Nantes – Undisclosed)

OUT
Christian Benteke (Liverpool – £32.5m), Fabian Delph (Man City – £8m), Darren Bent (Derby – Free), Andreas Weimann (Derby – Undisclosed), Matthew Lowton (Burnley – Undisclosed), Shay Given (Stoke – Free), Aly Cissokho (Porto – Season loan), Nicklas Helenius (AaB – Season loan), Ron Vlaar (released)

One to Watch

Towards the end of last season new manager Tim Sherwood brought 19-year-old Jack Grealish into the first team and we began to see glimpses that this teenager could be a star of the future.

Jack Grealish will hope he is in the papaers for all the right reasons this season image: skysports.com

Jack Grealish will hope he is in the papers for all the right reasons this season
image: skysports.com

His finest hour came in the FA Cup semi-final against Liverpool when the Birmingham-born winger when he set up both goals for Villa to claim a 2-1 win over the Reds. Ireland manager Martin O’Neill is desperate to get him on board for Ireland and more performances like that against Liverpool, the calls will keep on coming.

Expect Grealish to be a key man on the Aston Villa teamsheet this season and Tim Sherwood hopes that the 19-year-old will be a star for many years to come but he must produce an inspirational season, if Villa want to avoid a relegation dogfight.

Best XI

Guzan

Hutton    Richards    Okore    Amavi

Gueye

  Westwood    Veretout

 Grealish          Ayew          Sinclair

Prediction: 17th

After selling their star players, Christian Benteke and Fabian Delph, I am not so sure Aston Villa have what it takes to avoid another relegation dogfight and it looks like it could be another long season for Villa fans.

Aston Villa finihsed 17th but did reach the FA Cup final last season image: itv.com

Aston Villa finihsed 17th but did reach the FA Cup final last season
image: itv.com

Tim Sherwood has made some unknown additions to his squad but if the likes of Jordan Ayew and Idrissa Gueye settle quickly, Villa could be the surprise package of the season. However, Benteke is a big loss and even if Emmanuel Adebayor does arrive, I don’t think he will be able to replace the Belgian’s number of goals.

Their midfield is a big worry and there is no star player that jumps out at you after Delph’s move to Man City. A big midfield signing could change my opinion but based on this current squad of players, I think it will be another close call for Aston Villa.

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