With the summer transfer window set to close on August 31, many clubs, including Aston Villa, will be looking to make key signings before then.
Dean Smith is extremely keen on buying players to add strength and depth to his squad – his most recent being a club-record deal with Emi Buendía.
On 7 June 2021, it was announced that an agreement had been reached for Buendía to be transferred from Norwich City to fellow Premier League club Villa once he had returned from international duty with Argentina.
The transfer was believed to be worth £33 million, before add-ons and was confirmed to be both Villa’s record signing and Norwich City’s record sale.
The winger will be most important in Smith’s plans to create more goal-scoring opportunities for the men up top, and being only 24 years of age, the manager will definitely hope to develop and improve him for the future.
Having splashed the cash on Buendía, Smith may be looking to certain free agents he could attract over to Villa Park.
One of them could be former Villa player, Ashley Young.
Young was a firm favourite for the team, after he was bought in 2011. He stayed with the club for two years before he moved to Manchester United.
He scored 30 goals with his side, and won many Man of the Match awards, as well as the Premier League Player of the Month honours, resulting in a call-up to the England squad.
Having moved on from Manchester United to Inter Milan – and winning the Serie A with the latter – it is reported that Young wants to return to England, and is available on a free transfer. Watford, who sold Young to Villa in 2007, and Burnley are interested in signing the 35-year-old.
His versatility and flexibility to play in a wide array of positions is unforgotten and adding a little experience onto the Aston Villa side wouldn’t go amiss.
Another player Aston Villa is reportedly linked with is Joshua King.
The Norway international was considered by Villa in the last summer transfer window before Ollie Watkins arrived.
The 29 year old is available on a free transfer after Everton opted against extending the short-term deal he signed when arriving from Bournemouth in January.
Former Manchester United trainee King would provide cover for Watkins as well as giving head coach Dean Smith another option in wide areas.
There also is Alex Teixeira, whom which the Lions were linked with back in January. The 31-year-old attacker can play through the middle or on either wing, and at just 19-years-old, he was transferred to Shakhtar for €6 million having scored 14 times in 91 games for the club.
His contract with the Chinese champions, Jiangsu Suning, ended last year and he’s now a free agent.
Moving onto the defence, Martin Skrtel is available for Villa. The Liverpool icon and 104-cap Slovakia veteran is currently a free agent after he was released by Istanbul Basaksehir having suffered a season-ending Achilles injury.
The 36-year-old spent nine years at Anfield before stints at Fenerbahce and Atalanta.
Clubs can now sign the centre-back on a free with a view to having him fit and ready for the 2021-22 season.
And as for the midfield, you could always go for former Chelsea man, Ramires.
The Brazilian midfielder is a free agent after leaving Brazilian giants Palmeiras in November just one year into a four-year deal.
Prior to that, Ramires spent six years at Chelsea – helping them to the 2011-12 Champions League title and 2014-15 Premier League crown – before his shock move to Chinese Super League side Jiangsu Suning.