Aston Villa failed to make a deadline-day signing when the 2023 January transfer window slammed shut on Tuesday evening.
Indications early in the day suggested the club were unlikely to secure a deal for an incoming player, and that the only business done would come in the form of outgoings.
Villa signed left back Alex Moreno from Real Betis and forward Jhon Durán from Chicago Fire FC earlier in the month, and despite being tipped to sign a couple more players before the window shut, the club stood pat.
Instead, Villa elected to recall forward Bertrand Traore from his season-long loan spell at Istanbul Basaksehir FK in a bid to bolster attacking options.
Midfielder Marvelous Nakamba (Luton Town) and Aaron Ramsey (Middlesborough) left the club on loan until the end of the season.
Better options in the summer
According to Gregg Evans of The Athletic, Villa were targeting a striker and a winger — and potentially a central midfielder — in the final weeks of the January window.
But it was manager Unai Emery, who was backed financially to sign a forward, that decided waiting for the summer window was the smart option.
Gerard Deulofeu of Udinese and Nico Williams or Athletic Bilbao were identified as attacking options, but when it became clear neither could be bought this window, the decision was made to wait until the summer.
Ultimately, the club didn’t want want to spend money for the sake of it. Hence the decision to recall Traore.
Emery said on Friday: “We decided that if we don’t have a possibility to sign a player who can improve our squad, improve our wingers, then we were sure – don’t do it.
“We were following some players and analyzing if they are better than the players we have or better than the possibility to have Bertrand Traoré back again.”
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