By Alex Fisher
Last Updated: 22nd July 2019
Championship Play-Off winners notoriously have shorter time to prepare for life in the Premier League, and Aston Villa need to speed up their recruitment.
Villa’s Wembley win over Derby ended a three-year stay in the second tier and sealed a first top-flight campaign since the disastrous 2015/16 season – when they finished bottom.
Dean Smith has already begun to build his squad for the next challenge but he needs to do more business, and our markets suggest he needs to start at the back.
Former Villain Gary Cahill is 2/5 to return to Villa Park before the deadline, while Stoke City goalkeeper Jack Butland is 1/4 to move to the second city.
Here we take a look at the potential transfer activity at Villa ahead of the 2019/20 season.
Familiar faces Tyrone Mings, Anwar El Ghazi and Kortney Hause have already made the permanent move to Villa after successful loan spells last season, while Southampton full-back Matt Targett has also arrived.
Defensively they are lacking in depth, though, after the departures of Ritchie De Laet, Alan Hutton and Micah Richards.
Axel Tuanzebe – who spent last season on loan at Villa – has been linked with another temporary switch, the Manchester United youngster having recently signed a new deal at Old Trafford.
Bristol City’s highly-rated Adam Webster has also been linked, while Terence Kongolo is reportedly a target following his relegation with Huddersfield.
But it is no surprise to see Cahill linked with a Villa return. The 33-year-old made 31 appearances for the club early in his career, and his experience would be invaluable for this young Villa squad.
Who will deliver the goals?
Last season’s leading scorer Tammy Abraham has returned to Chelsea and looks set to feature under Frank Lampard, so Villa need to address the hole left by his exit.
Jonathan Kodjia netted nine times last term and this is a big step up for him having never played Premier League football.
The addition of Jota brings a reunion with Smith after their time together at Brentford, while Wesley Moraes offers plenty of potential after two good seasons at Club Brugge – scoring 30 times in all competitions.
However, like Kodjia, they don’t have any top-flight experience, so expect to see Villa in the mix for a striker or two as the deadline moves closer.