Aston Villa must prepare for the biggest five weeks of football in recent club history. With so much at stake, the backroom staff have doubtlessly begun to do their homework.
It takes a lot to achieve promotion. It takes even more to earn promotion in the EFL Championship. As previously noted, England’s second division is a slog, and Aston Villa recently earned their spot in the play-offs, at minimum.
Should the good guys in the claret and blue achieve promotion back to the Premier League, they are going to need some help staying up. All five of these players are under threat of relegation, whose recent play or past history definitely warrants top division play in one aspect or another.
1. CB – Ahmed Hegazi, 27, West Bromwich Albion
West Bromwich Albion may have defeated Manchester United on Sunday, but make no mistake, they are toast barring a second rendition of The Great Escape. Hegazi is the best of the bunch. He recently turned 27, the theoretical prime of his career for a central defender. He’s logged over 3,000 minutes of strong league action. Moreover, he will lead Egypt’s backline this summer in the FIFA World Cup with Villa player Ahmed Elmohamady.
Hegazi is a perfect addition for Aston Villa, either as a direct replacement for John Terry, or as a supplement to the current pairing. The downside to Hegazi is that he is not left-footed, something Villa could use from a center back.