By Harvey Byrne
New Aston Villa boss Roberto Di Matteo has revealed that he needs to start letting some players go this summer.
Following the three new signings of Tommy Elphick, Pierluigi Gollini and Aaron Tshibola, the Midlands side currently have a squad of 28 senior contracted players.
The Italian manager revealed when he was appointed that he thought the squad was too big and has further reiterated on Monday that August will involve players departing the club as well as joining the Villains.
“From day one, I was looking to strengthen the spine of the team, make it as strong as possible,” said Di Matteo to the Birmingham Mail.
“I am very pleased with the additions so far. We’ve been very quick to get the right signings in and I have been very pleased about that.
“Right now, we have a big squad. I have focused a lot of my time on training but also in signing the right players.
“Probably over the next two or three weeks I need to look at getting some players out as well.
“I want to trim the squad. I don’t want as big a squad as we have now. My focus will be on that.”
The newly-relegated Championship side are currently away on a pre-season training camp in Austria and it is understood that the former Chelsea boss will decide on the future of his squad there as well as in domestic friendlies.
The former West Brom boss has walked into a team which managed just three wins last seaon as they were relegated into the second tier amid a disjointed club which led to the departure of the much criticised owner Randy Lerner.
As the Champions League winning manager aims to get the club promoted to the top-tier in his first season, it is said that last year’s highly criticised under-performers are working much harder as the new season edges closer.
In other Aston Villa news, defender Joe Bennett is hoping his ability from set-pieces will help him cement a starting place next season.