We asked earlier the week your thoughts on Villa’s back line for the start of the new season and early results certainly look interesting. We now move on to the midfield and forwards. Definitely a little more complex. Again choices are based on who is still at the club and who is actually fit. Do let me know your thoughts.
Midfield: Grealish, Gueye, Westwood and Gardner
I think the selection I have gone for has a good mix of Premiership and Championship experience. If the midfield is lacking in any area, it will be pace. I think Grealish is going to be absolutely key for Villa this season. He will be required to provide the service to the front two and really can be the difference between winning or losing. Traore has the pace to scare any team but has not featured in preseason and it is said he is a couple of weeks away from being fit. Likewise, Sinclair looks to be on the move with continued interest from Celtic. I do hope we can still do some business to bring in some creativity through an out and out winger. There are players from the youth squad that are on the fringes of the first team but given the demands of the championship, I think experience is going to be key. Also question marks over Gueye, as his release clause has been triggered by Everton.
Forwards: Ayew and Gestede
Ayew for me is a class player and I have no doubt he will score loads for us next season. Choosing his partner was a bit more challenging as I really had to think about how the midfield are going to contribute. This leads me back to the importance of Grealish and the role he will play. I have seen him in preseason and his interplay with Ayew has been fantastic to watch. I have gone with Gestede as Ayew’s striking partner. Again, he has only been given the nod because of his championship experience. We know he can score goals for fun at this level but we need to make sure he is given the service. The service is where I have doubts. Westwood, can barely clear the first man with his corners so I hope this responsibility is left to someone else.
Providing Ayew stays, who would be his ideal strike partner from the current squad?
— Villafans (@Villafans) July 27, 2016
Let me know your thoughts and based on this I will look to share the starting 11 by the weekend.