Aston Villa’s January transfer window: What Steven Gerrard needs to address next month

The former Liverpool captain will face his first transfer window as Villa Head Coach next month

Steven Gerrard will be looking to add some fresh faces to his Aston Villa side as he enters his first transfer window as Head Coach next month.

The claret & blue have already seen themselves improve dramatically under the Scouser’s leadership, losing only twice - singular goal defeats to title challengers Manchester City & Liverpool.

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And with the potential to bolster the team further in January - ambitions for the remainder of the campaign could soon shift to bigger and better things.

Steven Gerrard, Manager of Aston Villa embraces Emiliano Martinez of Aston Villa after the Premier League match between Norwich City and Aston Villa

As we approach the halfway mark of the season, Gerrard’s men currently sit 10th in the Premier League table - four points behind seventh place Tottenham Hotspur.

The ‘Europa Conference League’ that has been introduced this year now means that a top seven finish in the PL secures a ticket to European football and that’s a ticket that certainly isn’t out of reach for Villa.

Things have certainly started coming together in recent weeks but with injuries to key men like Marvelous Nakamba and the current Covid situation - it’s the depth that could really let them down in the run in. That’s why January is so important.

Central Midfield

It’s an obvious area of improvement and it’s clear former manager Dean Smith believed so too when he tried signing James Ward-Prowse prior to the campaign getting underway.

The Villans have talented men in there, there’s no denying that.

John McGinn, Douglas Luiz, Morgan Sanson, Marvelous Nakamba and youngsters Jacob Ramsey and Carney Chukwuemeka all have their positive traits with the latter two in particular having the potential to be stars.

But as for the more experienced ones, for as good as they are all in their own rights - all have very similar play styles and with Nakamba out injured and Sanson often finding himself out for one reason or another - it does leave them relatively short of options.

There is no real player you can pick out that has the potential to grab a game by the scruff of its’ neck and dictate it from minute one - similar to the former captain who shall not be named.

Oriol Romeu is a name that has been thrown about in the past and has once again cropped up as a potential target in this coming window but he may be seen as again, too similar to what is already at Gerrard’s disposal.

One player that continues to impress and caught many eyes at Villa Park earlier in the season was Brighton’s Yves Bissouma. He looked a class above everyone on the pitch back in November and would certainly improve Villa’s central area.

Brighton midfielder Yves Bissouma could feature for Mali at the Africa Cup of Nations next month

Central Defence

An interesting one when you consider how solid Villa have been at the back under Gerrard but again it’s the depth that would come as a worry.

Ezri Konsa and Tyrone Mings have formed a superb partnership and whoever was to come in would have a job on dislodging them but if one goes down injured things don’t look as pretty.

Kortney Hause hasn’t been bad this season but he hasn’t been great either. He’s a solid back-up that’s for sure.

And then there’s Axel Tuanzebe who is of course only on loan from Manchester United. Despite his success during his first loan spell at Villa Park - he’s found it much more difficult this time around and has probably been the worst of the four central defenders.

Joe Gomez has found himself strongly linked to the club in recent weeks and he’d be a real statement signing. He was a key part of one of the best defences in the league next to Virgil Van Dijk before his injury and has only found himself lacking game time due to the positive performances of others.

Adding proven quality and a proven winner like that would only bode well for the future of the team.

Aston Villa ‘make Liverpool bid’ as Steven Gerrard looks to raid his former club for Joe Gomez in January. (Calcio Mercato) (Photo by Lewis Storey/Getty Images)

Left Back

Or call it full-back cover in general. This one would be more of a want than a need.

Matt Targett is a player whose performances have seen a significant upturn in form under the new manager and may have saved his place as a starter - for now at least.

But again, the cover is limited for both him on the left and Matty Cash on the right.

The signing of Gomez if it happens would give Gerrard an extra man on the right as he has been deployed there numerous times under Jurgen Klopp and although Ashley Young is currently being used as a fill-in full-back when needed (and doing a good job at that), he isn’t the spriteliest now at 36-years-old.

If he is to address it in January, a young full-back with potential that can sit and learn for a year or two may be the answer but the manager may well see that he has enough cavalry to get through this season.

If so, this would then allow him to reassess for a new potential first choice in the Summer - depending on the progression or lack of from Targett.

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