Aston Villa’s start to the Premier League campaign this year has been, inconsistent, it’s fair to say.
They’ve paired up some fantastic results with others that are not so and left fans scratching their heads as to which XI they are going to get on the day.
The quality within the team is evident. Many spoke pre-season about the squad now being in much better shape thanks to the reinforcements that Grealish’s sale allowed and for the most part, that’s still widely agreed upon.
Having said that, they are still at current, lacking the consistency of a top, top side.
It’s still early doors. Seven games in means that there is plenty of time to address that issue and for what it’s worth, I expect it to be resolved as we progress further through the calendar.
What certainly wouldn’t go amiss on the quest to solving this said flaw, though, is some extra additions in January. They aren’t needed by any means but you won’t catch many people saying no to them.
What the owners have already shown is that they won’t just throw money at anyone and everyone just because they can and that’s good to see from a purely sensible perspective.
But let’s say they do bring the piggy bank out this January.
Here are four players, we believe, would be realistic and achievable targets in the next transfer window.
Brighton & Hove Albion’s 25-year-old Malian was a vastly talked about target for a lot of big clubs during the summer transfer window.
Nothing ended up materialising and the talk has since quietened which could work in the favour of a number of clubs if they decide to enter back into the frame in January.
Bissouma is a box-to-box midfielder and would offer so much energy in the middle of the park for Villa.
The claret & blue were heavily linked with James Ward-Prowse over the course of the summer which suggests they are still very much interested in bringing a midfielder to the club.
Douglas Luiz has started the season in fine form and the emergence of Jacob Ramsey may have altered plans slightly but that wouldn’t be stopping me throwing in a bid for the Seagulls man.
Suggestions are that he would be available for a fee in the region of £30m and for a player arguably better than Ward-Prowse and anything Villa have in that area, it would certainly be worth testing the waters.
It’s not got the glamour factor but it doesn’t always need to be that way.
West Bromwich Albion left-back Conor Townsend has been a consistent stand-out performer for the Baggies during his time there and was one of the few players that came away with credit following their relegation back to the Championship.
He’s more of a left-wing-back than a traditional full-back in fairness but if Dean Smith persists with the five at the back formation, it would suit him down to the ground.
Matt Targett has faced plenty of criticism so far this year - a lot of it unjust in fairness but Townsend would provide excellent competition for the shirt in that position and could result in both players upping their game. That and he wouldn’t break the bank.
Even if it’s just to get one up on the Baggies, the 28-year-old could prove a solid signing.
Another player to possibly target - pardon the pun - for the left-wing-back position would be former Villan, Marc Albrighton.
As above, the now 31-year-old is certainly more of an attack minded defender but would bring guaranteed quality as well as a vast amount of experience with him.
Albrighton left Villa to join Leicester City in 2014 and has remained a loyal servant there ever since. He played a huge role in the Foxes side that lifted the Premier League trophy the following year and has gone on to make over 200 appearances for the club.
A self-confessed Villa fan himself, it’s hard to see him doing anything but jumping at the chance to return to Villa Park if the opportunity presented itself.
Like Townsend, it’s doubtful that it would take an earth-shattering fee to lure him back and he’d add both depth and versatility to an already solid group.
They were linked with one Saints midfielder in the summer but here’s another.
Oriol Romeu was recently described by Pep Guardiola as “one of the best” players in the Premier League and who are we to argue with Pep?
The Spaniard has been an ever-present on the south coast since he was signed from Chelsea in 2015 and has cemented himself as an elite player in his position.
As touched on prior, with Luiz’s form it would be harsh to bring in a similar player but you can never have too much depth.
Not that Smith would ever set up his side seriously defensive but if he was to play both Luiz and Romeu in the same team, the opposition may as well go home because they’d never score.
He’d be available on the cheap and yet would bolster absolutely any squad in the Premier League.
Would you like to see any of these four players at Aston Villa? Who do you think Villa should sign, if anyone, in January? Let us know @bhamworld_ on Twitter.