By Kevin Phillips

5th Oct, 2020 | 3:45pm

Phillips Exclusive: Aston Villa 25-yr-old tipped to exit in late deal

Kevin Phillips expects Aston Villa midfielder Anwar El Ghazi to leave the club before Monday’s 11pm transfer deadline.

Speaking exclusively to Football Insider correspondent Dylan Childs, the former Aston Villa striker believes his former club’s transfer business this window means there is no place for El Ghazi.

Dean Smith has added Matty Cash, Ollie Watkins, Emiliano Martinez, Bertrand Traore and Ross Barkley to his squad this summer.

El Ghazi had been a key player for the Midlands giants since he signed, initially on loan, from French side Lille two summers ago.

The 25-year-old scored Villa’s opening goal in their 2-1 play-off final win over Derby County in May 2019.

He made 36 top-flight appearances for Smith’s side last season but he now seems surplus to requirement at Villa Park.

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Asked by Football Insider whether he expects the Dutchman to leave the club, Phillips said: “I think he’s done well, he’s been there a while now.

“It’s always tough, Villa made a lot of signings didn’t they at the beginning of last season.

“Dean Smith, having made a few more this season, is probably looking to offload one or two or three players.

“I know you need a big squad but if you look at the amount of players that he’s got, it’s only sensible that you need to cut it a little bit.

“Bring Barkley in now and of course bringing Watkins in as well, it wouldn’t surprise me if he was one of the players that might make way.”

El Ghazi has been limited to just two appearances in the Carabao Cup this season.

He came under intense social media scrutiny by Villa fans for his performance in their 1-0 defeat to Stoke City in the Round of 16 which led to him deleting his Twitter account.

In other news, Alex McLeish has touted a big money Aston Villa transfer that may happen after Monday’s transfer deadline.