New captain, new signings, unbeaten in pre-season... How Aston Villa are shaping up ahead of trip to Cherries

·3-min read
Aston Villa went through pre-season unbeaten
Aston Villa went through pre-season unbeaten

STEVEN Gerrard is set to get his first full season in charge of Aston Villa underway with a trip to Vitality Stadium on Saturday (3pm).

The Liverpool legend and former Rangers boss took the reins at Villa Park in November 2021, replacing Dean Smith.

He guided the Villans to a 14th-placed Premier League finish, after picking up just nine points from the final 11 matches of the campaign.

But Villa acted quickly in the summer transfer window to try and boost their chances of progressing up the table this season.

 

File photo dated 23-04-2022 of Aston Villa manager Steven Gerrard who insists nobody can question his or Aston Villas integrity ahead of their trip to Manchester City. Issue date: Friday May 20, 2022.
File photo dated 23-04-2022 of Aston Villa manager Steven Gerrard who insists nobody can question his or Aston Villas integrity ahead of their trip to Manchester City. Issue date: Friday May 20, 2022.

Aston Villa boss Steven Gerrard

 

SUMMER SIGNINGS

As well as adding new faces to the squad, the Midlands club secured the services of both back-up goalkeeper Robin Olsen and star midfielder Philippe Coutinho on permanent deals.

The pair were on loan at Villa last season, but Coutinho has now completed a reported £17million switch from Barcelona.

He is not the most expensive signing of the summer, however, with centre-back Diego Carlos arriving for £26million from Sevilla.

Highly-rated midfielder Boubacar Kamara has also been snapped up on a free transfer from Marseille, while left-back Ludwig Augustinsson has arrived on loan from Sevilla.

In terms of outgoings, Matt Targett completed a permanent move to Newcastle United, Trezeguet signed for Trabzonspor and youngster Carney Chukwuemeka this week moved to Chelsea for a deal which could reach a reported £20million.

NEW CAPTAIN

 

Aston Villas Tyrone Mings appears dejected after the Premier League match at Villa Park, Birmingham. Picture date: Saturday April 9, 2022.
Aston Villas Tyrone Mings appears dejected after the Premier League match at Villa Park, Birmingham. Picture date: Saturday April 9, 2022.

Tyrone Mings has lost the captain's armband

 

Former Cherries defender Tyrone Mings faces a battle for his starting spot and has also lost the captain's armband.

Last week saw Scotland international John McGinn named as Villa's new skipper, with goalkeeper Emiliano Martinez the vice-captain and Ashley Young nominated as club captain.

Discussing the decision to remove Mings from that role, Gerrard said: “Naturally, I have had to have a discussion with Tyrone Mings and have explained my reasons for making this decision.

"More importantly, I believe that not having the responsibility of the captaincy will allow Tyrone to focus more on his own game which can only benefit him and the team.”

With new recruit Carlos expected to start at centre-back, Mings is now set to compete with the likes of Ezri Konsa, Kortney Hause and Calum Chambers for the other starting berth.

PRE-SEASON FORM

 

Aston Villas Leon Bailey (left) and Tottenham Hotspurs Harry Kane battle for the ball during the Premier League match at Villa Park, Birmingham. Picture date: Saturday April 9, 2022.
Aston Villas Leon Bailey (left) and Tottenham Hotspurs Harry Kane battle for the ball during the Premier League match at Villa Park, Birmingham. Picture date: Saturday April 9, 2022.

Leon Bailey has impressed in pre-season

 

Villa have gone unbeaten through their pre-season schedule.

Gerrard's men eased to a 4-0 win at Walsall, before heading to Australia to face Premier League rivals Leeds United and Manchester United.

A penalty from Danny Ings earned a 1-0 victory over Leeds, before Leon Bailey and Chambers struck in a 2-2 draw with Man Utd.

Between those two fixtures, Cameron Archer scored the only goal in a win over Aussie outfit Brisbane Roar.

Villa rounded off their pre-season programme with a 2-1 victory at Rennes last weekend, with Bailey notching his third of pre-season, before Carlos grabbed a late winner.

HOW THEY COULD LOOK

While Villa have plenty of options, media outlet BirminghamLive have given their predicted line-up for the trip to Cherries this weekend.

Villa XI: Martinez, Cash, Chambers, Carlos, Digne, McGinn, Kamara, J Ramsey, Bailey, Coutinho, Watkins.