Aston Villa churned yet another season by loitering in the doldrums as they failed to impose any sort of monumental challenge to earn a promotion spot to steer themselves to the Premier League. The Villans finished 13th on the league table (courtesy their late dash in the second half of the last campaign) with 62 points and if they are to assemble themselves into a formidable side which could challenge for a promotion spot, they would definitely have to beef up their productivity and quality.
After such a disappointing season, it would be important for them to turn the things around and it goes without saying that Steve Bruce should make a good use of the transfer window to make the necessary ramifications. If the latest reports are to believed, Bruce has put Stoke City’s veteran midfielder, Glenn Whelan as one of his priorities in his wish-list, and at the onset, it does appear to be a galvanising signing to uplift the morale and confidence level of Bruce’s arsenal.
Whelan is a player with a proven pedigree as accumulating around 300 appearances in the English top flight is no mean feat. A midfielder who could add steel to the midfield of the Lions, the 33-year-old, if used in a proper manner, could not only shield the backline meticulously but can also enable the likes of Conor Hourihane and Henri Lansbury in marauding forward and put their offensive traits on offer in an appealing manner. A proper fee is to be agreed to urge Whelan to take a step down but if it materialises, it could prove to one of the finest deals of the summer.
Last season in the Premier League, the Republic of Ireland international mustered 30 appearances to his name, during which he collected 1 assist. Defensively speaking, he garnered 1.5 tackles, 1.2 interceptions, 1.5 clearances and 0.7 blocks per game on an average and inked yet another productive season with the Potters. He is in touch with the game and for the price, which is rumoured to be around £500,000, he is a risk worth taking by Bruce.
Whelan is renowned for his blocking skills, doesn’t refrain from getting into gruesome physical battles, and has a notable positional awareness and toils relentlessly throughout the pitch. Besides, with the experience he possesses, he could be a leader on the pitch for the Championship outfit and could marshal the troops towards the erection of a strong competition to the other English second division sides for the promotion race.
Statistics Credits: WhoScored
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