The Premier League’s January transfer window has come and gone and if recent results are any indication, Aston Villa’s transfer window was a smashing success. From strengthening the squad in key areas to shoring up the youth academy, Aston Villa did some smart business that will benefit them now and in the future. We took a look at Aston Villa’s incoming January transfer deals and ranked them from best to worst.
Philippe Coutinho (loan from Barcelona): A+
Philippe Coutinho is undoubtedly Aston Villa’s best signing of the January transfer window. Already, the Brazilian international has proven to be absolutely huge for the team. In just three appearances since his arrival, Coutinho has returned two goals and two assists.
Aston Villa has an option to buy Coutinho outright this summer and all indications point to Steven Gerrard keeping the Brazilian around for the foreseeable future.
Lucas Digne (£25 million transfer from Everton): B+
Lucas Digne has already proven to be an improvement on the outgoing Matt Targett. His pinpoint crossing and powerful left peg always pose a threat in the attacking third.
After getting him from Everton for a song and a dance, Digne is settling in nicely with Aston Villa and will be a big player for the squad’s European ambitions next season.
Calum Chambers (free transfer from Arsenal): B-
Aston Villa always seems to get in these sneaky good transfer deals, don’t they? Much like Danny Ings this summer, Calum Chambers was a low-key signing that seemingly came out of nowhere.
While we haven’t seen much of Chambers yet, he is a versatile defender with Premier League experience. Time will tell if Chambers becomes successful at Aston Villa.
Robin Olsen (loan from AS Roma): C
Aston Villa established that they needed an improvement in the backup goalkeeper department and Swedish international Robin Olsen is certainly that.
While we shouldn’t expect Olsen to get much game time considering Emi Martinez is nigh-undroppable, Olsen brings some much-needed insurance to Aston Villa’s goalkeeping department. It’s only a loan deal, but Villa does have an option to buy.
Kerr Smith (£800k transfer from Dundee United): C-
Kerr Smith was signed to shore up Aston Villa’s under-23 side but don’t be surprised if he makes the first team sheet in the future. The 17-year-old Scottish centreback is a promising prospect and moved to Aston Villa from the Scottish Premiership’s Dundee United.
This was a low-risk, high-reward move on Aston Villa’s part and if Smith delivers the goods, all the better.
Aston Villa also made several outgoing deals. While it was mostly youth prospects and fringe players sent out on loan, one of the most surprising outgoing transfers was Matt Targett to Newcastle United.
It was understandable that Targett didn’t want to play second fiddle to Lucas Digne, but the decision to send him out on loan without any money coming into Aston Villa was a bizarre one. With a player of Targett’s pedigree, you’d think Villa could get at least £20-25 million for his services from a Newcastle team flush with oil money.
If Targett cracks on and finds the form that made him Aston Villa’s Player of the Season last season, we could expect Newcastle to make an offer for his services. That’s a big if, however. If Targett’s six months at Newcastle goes badly but he still insists to leave the Claret and Blue, Villa will need to find a willing buyer before Targett’s value drastically drops.
Transfers out: none
Loans out: Matt Targett (Newcastle United); Wesley (International S.C.); Anwar El-Ghazi (Everton); Axel Tuanzebe (Napoli); Keinan Davis (Nottingham Forest); Cameron Archer (Preston North End); Jaden Philogene-Bidace (Stoke City); Jed Steer (Luton Town); Kaine Kesler (MK Dons); Louie Barry (Swindon Town); Aaron Ramsey (Cheltenham Town); Caleb Chukwuemeka (Livingston); Tyriek Wright (Colchester United); Arjan Raikhy (Grimsby Town); Seb Revan (Hereford)