Aston Villa need a serious upgrade in one postion

West Ham United v Aston Villa - Premier League
West Ham United v Aston Villa - Premier League / Marc Atkins/GettyImages

Aston Villa's gamble on plucking Matty Cash from Nottingham Forest in 2020 for £14 million has been richly rewarded. Once an unheralded prospect, he has blossomed into a full-fledged Polish international, even gracing the 2022 World Cup stage.

But as Villa chase a potential Champions League berth next season, manager Unai Emery is reportedly searching for reinforcements at right-back – a quest heightened by Cash's recent injury scare.

Cash is a warrior, the sort of player whose lung-busting runs and fierce tackles ignite the Villa Park crowd. Yet, there is an undeniable rawness to his game; his defensive positioning can be suspect, and his contributions in attack lack consistent polish. Emery might be craving a right-back with a steadier hand and a more refined touch in the attacking third.

This need has only been amplified by Cash's hamstring injury suffered while away on international duty with Poland. The 26-year-old faces an estimated three-week absence, jeopardising his availability for crucial Premier League and Europa Conference League clashes. He has been a pillar for Villa this season, logging 26 Premier League appearances and showcasing his valuable versatility.

While Villa focused on adding a new left-back in the January 2024 window with Sevilla's Marcos Acuna a prime target, there is a willingness to offload fringe defenders like Calum Chambers and Leander Dendoncker to raise cash for future moves.

This paves the way for a potential summer swoop for a new right back. Bayer Leverkusen's Jeremie Frimpong, who has a history of electrifying chemistry alongside current Villa winger Leon Bailey, is one name circulating in the rumour mill. However, his cost likely ruled out a January move, making a summer approach more plausible.

As Aston Villa's European ambitions solidify, the pressure is on to find a right-back who can both challenge Matty Cash and provide top-tier cover. With the summer transfer window looming and Cash's injury a stark reminder of squad fragility, Villa fans will be anxiously anticipating a shrewd signing to bolster their club's title charge.