Aston Villa Football Club have recently confirmed the summer transfer signings of three players; Jores Okore, Leandro Bacuna, and Aleksander Tonev. It seems that Lambert is continuing in his project of purchasing young, the oldest being Bulgarian International Tonev who is 23 years old. Many of Lamberts critiques were that he didn’t have enough Premier League experience within his team making them vulnerable defensively, especially towards the final periods of games when their young defence came under any pressure.
These young signings would suggest that Lambert was to have the backing from owner Randy Learner, who is enabling Lambert to continue in his work his way with signings that haven’t reached their full potential and do not have premier league experience. This faith has also be exerted when Lambert was backed in his decision to drop Darren Bent for most of the season, somebody who is one of the biggest earners at the club and was brought in for a huge fee. Of course this is easier when your other striker, Benteke is scoring for fun.
Throughout last season, Villa struggled with defending and conceded in all but 5 league games. Everybody at the club will understand that this is not good enough for a club that has an extremely rich history of winning in football. In recent years where Villa were challenging for a place in Europe, managing 3 consecutive 6th place league finishes, they produced much better defensive performances. In the 2009/10 season, Villa produced 15 clean sheets in the league. It will concern Villa if they are unable change their recent defensive performances around as its evident that a good campaign will be crucial to this factor.
In this past season, Richard Dunne has been unable to maintain a spot in the Villa defence due to his injuries. He’s a player in the past that you would no doubt have faith to help organise a solid defence and put his arm around youngsters like Clarke or Baker to help them feel comfortable. Dunne was released from Villa last month, but the recent signing of Danish centre back Jores Okore will help reduce the blow to the fans. The Danish International, who is only 20 years old, played a standout performance in the Champions League against Chelsea highlighting how calm and experienced he is whilst still being only 20 years old. It was imperative that Lambert brought in a new defender to help ease the burden placed on Vlaar and Clarks shoulders. Although, the questions will be asked of Lambert if they find themselves in a similar position to last year, as he has continued to go for young talents.
The signing of Leandro Bacuna, moving from Dutch side Groningen who played over 100 games for them, will help bolster Villa’s midfield. He is a player who is quite experienced considering his age (21). Manager Paul Lambert said ‘Leandro’s energy and versatility will be really good for us. He’s a good player, he has bags of energy and he will make an impact’. Villas midfield could definitively use an energetic midfielder to compliment Ashley Westwood as Fabien Delph is often caught out of position or loses the ball in dangerous areas giving the opponent the perfect opportunity to counter attack. This puts great pressure on the rest of the team. The introduction of Bacuna will be much appreciated by the Villa faithful as Lambert tries to bolster his midfield.
Aston Villa’s attack this season hasn’t been the main issue this season for their poor finish in the league. They managed to score 47 league goals this scoring, with Benteke scoring 19 league goals in his debut season. The recent signing of Alesander Tonev should hopefully reduce the burden on Benteke for Villa, added to the possibility of having Weimann improving after last year’s league experience. Weimann chipped in with 7 league goals and Agbonlahor 9. Villa fans will hope that their team continues from the progress made from last year.
If Villa want to see progress this season in the league then it is crucial that Lambert can reduce the goals conceded. Conceding 69 league goals and only keeping 5 clean sheets is not good enough. The new signing of Jores Okore, seems the most necessary and important for now as Villa’s priority surely must be to focus on their defence as it was so fragile last season. The other introductions will hope to have an impact on the first eleven, but if not will add much needed depth to the squad.
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