How Will Aston Villa Fare Next Season?

Aston Villa FC

It has been an exciting season for the Midlands side; a tumultuous season in fact. The term began with Roberto Di Matteo but will end with Steve Bruce, who had quite a task on his hands when he took the job back in October.

He has steadied the ship, to an extent, as Villa currently languish in mid-table with 61 points. If results go their way they can finish as high as 8th but 12th is probably where they deserve to finish.

In June 2016, Chinese businessman Tony Xia bought Aston Villa from Randy Lerner for a reported £76 million, and it looked like he would bring the good times back to Villa Park.

However, the exuberant owner has found it difficult in his first year having spent over £71 million, more than Real Madrid, in the transfer market and effectively had two major transfer recruitments in just one season.

This has resulted in dead wood in the Aston Villa squad. They have 38 recognised 1st team players with 9 of them out on loan; even players who have only signed this season.

However, do not be surprised to see Aston Villa spend big again as the manager takes charge of his first summer transfer window.

The recruitment problems have been summed up perfectly with the Ross McCormack situation. The Scottish striker was signed for £12 million in the summer of 2016, but after falling out of favour with manager Steve Bruce, he is now on loan at Nottingham Forest.

Three goals in six months is not the return Villa would have expected from a clinical finisher. Not only did £12 million go to waste but Bruce was allowed to buy former Brentford striker Scott Hogan for £14 million in January. Money to burn at Aston Villa it seems, but not in the right places.

As stated, Roberto Di Matteo was in charge at the start of the season, and that can only be described as an unmitigated disaster for all involved.

The Italian could only muster one win in 11 attempts before he faced the axe. Villa turned to Bruce who managed to turn things around dramatically by gaining 25 points from a possible 39 and turning them into playoff contenders.

However, 2017 did not bring cheer for them. Woeful displays resulted in the resurgent side being in danger of dropping into the relegation zone.

They only managed 1 point in the whole of January and the majority of February. Luckily, for them, the results have picked up again, but that lack of consistency has cost them a chance of promotion, but it could have cost them more if they had dropped out of the Championship altogether.

You have to say though, that they stand a fighting chance of gaining promotion next season. Bruce has a proven past of winning promotion and keeping sides in the Premier League. In fact, he has won promotion four times to Premier League with Birmingham City and Hull City on different occasions.

It is always hard to predict how teams will fare the following season without seeing how they conduct themselves in the transfer market but you have to expect Aston Villa will be at least fighting for the play-offs in the 2017/18 term.

However, with Bruce in charge, they have the best man for the job at hand, and he will be expecting automatic promotion. Aston Villa fans will be counting down the days till the season opener and finally be able to put this season well behind them!


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