COMMENT by Amir Mir
Aston Villa could field five January signings when they take on Brentford next Tuesday night in a Championship clash.
The changes to Steve Bruce’s side could see a revamped and uber-attacking starting XI that will be looking to close the nine-point gap on the top six in the table.
On-loan Manchester United goalkeeper Sam Johnstone was the first addition this month, followed by Nottingham Forest captain Henri Lansbury.
The duo were followed by a spree of signings in the last 48 hours starting with right-back James Bree, Icelandic midfielder Birkir Bjarnason and now Barnsley playmaker Conor Hourihane.
All five additions will provide Villa with what they have been missing all season creativity, goals and a fresh spark in the team and Bruce’s best chance is playing them in a 4-3-3 system.
Youngster Johnstone is now establishing himself as a regular number one, while Bree will look to dethrone Alan Hutton from the right-hand side of the defence.
Furthermore, midfielder Lansbury, who started the last game, would complement the combative Mile Jedinak in the middle of the park, with Hourihane sitting in front of them.
Both Lansbury and Hourihane have scored ten goals between them this season, the entire Villa midfield has scored just two.
Versatile player Bjarnason can fit in on the left-hand side of the attacking three as the Icelandic international will add further goals to this team, having scored four already for his previous club.
This team will see the likes of Ashley Westwood, Jack Grealish, Jordan Ayew, Gabby Agbonlahor, Gary Gardner and Hutton all miss out on a starting spot.
In other Aston Villa news, this Sky Sports pundit has delivered his verdict on the club’s new signing.