Aston Villa have once again been linked to Bristol City left back Joe Bryan for a potential transfer.
Bristol City manager Lee Johnson is “resigned” to losing star left back Joe Bryan this summer, or so says The Mirror in a report.
Bryan, 24, was by far and away the star in the Robins’ squad with an average WhoScored rating of 7.34, followed by Aden Flint at 7.17. With five goals and three assists from the left back position, Bryan added a bit of spark to the defender position. Moreover, and perhaps as equally important to Aston Villa; he’s very durable, playing in 50, 40, 49, and 48 total contests the last four seasons. The company Villa are associated with is noteworthy too. New Europa League contestants Burnley, and Everton, are said to be chasing Bryan in the same article. It certainly can’t hurt to be associated with good teams.
With the Bryan link coming up again (we covered the rumor back in March), it’s worth revisiting the left back position ahead of the now-opened transfer window. Alan Hutton has made the position his own in recent months, but he’s a free agent in June. It’s still unknown whether or not he will be offered a new contract. Perhaps both parties meet in the middle for a reserve role.
When Neil Taylor was brought in from Swansea City in the Jordan Ayew swap, he was expected to be one of the better left backs in the EFL Championship, with his international pedigree and Premier League experience. Unfortunately for all, that hasn’t been the case, but he’s still contracted to Aston Villa for a few more seasons. He needs competition; could that come in the form of 19-year old Mitch Clark? Perhaps, but an external addition seems likely as well. I’d argue it’s the most dire position in need of an upgrade.
Of course Aston Villa will need to defeat Fulham next Saturday for any shot at landing Bryan. That is, if other Premier League clubs like the ones above have solidified interest.