26-year-old at number 10? Three ways Aston Villa can line up in midfield after Whelan capture

4-2-3-1 – Whelan and Gardner, Lansbury at No10

In Bruce’s most likely formation of two holding midfielders and a number 10, Whelan would need to be partnered by a tenacious midfielder who could do the dirty work alongside him.

With Jedinak also in his thirties, Gary Gardner would be his perfect partner while 26-year-old Lansbury would sit in front of the duo with license to join the attack.

In such a formation, Whelan would be at his best as he would be given protection by Gardner but also able to dictate the tempo of a match with his intricate passing.