After their demotion from the Premier League following a disastrous campaign in the top flight last season, Aston Villa have been a relatively sluggish side. The Villans are yet to recover from such a torrid collapse and unlike Newcastle United, they have failed to register any sort of substantial challenges for getting promoted. They have been inconsistent and sporadic and no wonder why they are stationed at the 12th spot in the league table with 61 points from 45 games.

Looking at the current plethora of notable names in their ranks, it goes without saying that they have only themselves to blame. They have injected plenty of quality players but the results they have achieved are far from satisfactory.

More than anything else, they need some experience players who could help them in accomplishing substantial results next season. The summer transfer window would be a crucial one for the Lions as they embark themselves upon their journey to reach the pinnacle of English football once again.

Intriguingly, Aston Villa are deemed as favourites to lure Jermain Defoe and John Ruddy to the Villa Park in the summer. While the former is a clinical striker up front with sheer predate instincts and plies his trade for Sunderland in the Premier League, the latter has been released by Norwich City recently despite making 26 appearances with the gloves for the Canaries.

What is common in both these veterans is the truckloads of experience of English football and without any shadow of a doubt, they are far from being obsolete at this stroke of the hour.

Defoe has been the silver lining in the underperforming Black Cats side who are relegated this season. The 34-year-old mustered 14 goals and 2 assists to his name in 34 appearances and has almost singlehandedly discharged the goal-scoring requirements of the club up front. His strongest suit includes his sound aerial presence, the ability to link-up meticulously up front. He has got pace in his legs and is still one of the finest finishers in the game and he might be looking for new adventures.

Manchester United loanee, Sam Johnstone has fared well in the Aston Villa shirt after his move from the Old Trafford in the January transfer window and is seemingly likely to be called back by his parent club. Steve Bruce would be keen to get a goalkeeper with a fine reputation who could bring solidity to the club at the back and Ruddy perfectly fits the bill. Should Bruce manage to get this deal over the line, Aston Villa could really pounce upon their opponents and instil a sense of confidence in themselves for earning a promotion spot next season.

Statistics Credits: WhoScored

Prasoon is a law student who lives in the North East of India. Wildly innovative, football is more than a passion for him.