Six Aston Villa players guaranteed a place after the January window - with one surprise

We take a look at the six Aston Villa players who we think will remain in Unai Emery’s team following the January transfer window.

The January transfer window is nearly upon us with Unai Emery ready to make reinforcements at Aston Villa after taking over from Steven Gerrard in the dugout. The Spaniard has had three matches - two in the Premier League and one in the Carabao Cup - to assess the current crop and he is bound to bring in some fresh faces come the dawn of the new year.

Villa have made a decent start under the former Arsenal head coach’s stewardship, racking up two successive league wins against Manchester United and Brighton. Emery even led the Villans to their first away win of the campaign, as a brace from Danny Ings turned things around at the Amex Stadium after an early Alexis Mac Allister strike.

Having already seen 270 minutes of his new players in competitive action, Emery now has just over a month to work with the squad as the World Cup plays out in Qatar. As just four made the cut for their respective international sides - Emi Martinez, Jan Bednarek, Matty Cash and Leander Dendoncker - it gives Emery the opportunity to judge the majority of whom he’s working with in greater detail.

With that being said, we’ve taken a look at the six players we think will remain at Villa after the January transfer window - with the majority playing a key role in a new-look side. One or two may come as a slight surprise given the past criticism from pundits and supporters.

Jacob Ramsey

The 21-year-old has been one of very few players in the Villa squad to shine despite a disappointing start to the campaign. He may have only netted on two occasions so far, but his determination has been clear to see. Ramsey seemed to find his best in the 3-1 victory over Manchester United, as he grabbed a goal and two assists.

Boubacar Kamara

Boubacar Kamara tackles Fred in the Carabao Cup fixture between Manchester United and Aston Villa.

After signing in the summer transfer window for just over £20 million, many expected Kamara to slot straight in and become a key player. Unfortunately, this hasn’t quite been the case, but we think Kamara has the potential to be one of the first names on the Villa teamsheet as one of two holding midfielders in a 4-2-3-1.

Ollie Watkins

As seen in the past with the likes of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Carlos Bacca, the new man in the dugout tends to utilise a strong and fast centre-forward in a one-up-top formation. Watkins, being the all-rounder he is, should be effective in this role. He has only scored twice so far this term but has the chance to redeem himself.

John McGinn

Perhaps one of the more controversial of our choices, we believe McGinn will play a key role under Emery’s management. The Scotsman has featured for 20 minutes or more in every Premier League game this campaign. His experience and character could be crucial in the dressing room as the Villans look to soar up the table.

Leon Bailey

Leon Bailey could play a key role under Unai Emery.

The Jamaican has struggled with inconsistency since signing from Bayer Leverkusen last year, but he has shown signs of being a really talented player. The win against United on Emery’s debut was a fine example of when Bailey is at his best, and we believe he will very much be in the club’s long-term plans.

Tyrone Mings

He didn’t make the England squad for the World Cup, likely due to Villa’s poor defensive form in the Premier League, but Mings has proven himself as a key man. He may struggle to adjust to a new system that forces him to pass out from the back, but the time away from competitive action should help him learn Emery’s ways.