By Amir Mir
Aston Villa paid a combined transfer fee of £3.15million for new signings James Bree and Birkir Bjarnason, according to a report.
Sky Sports claimed in their transfer blog on Wednesday (14:46 pm) that Villa paid Championship rivals Barnsley £1.4million for right-back, Bree and £1.75million to Basel for midfielder Bjarnason.
It was officially confirmed that the duo joined the Midlands club on Wednesday to become the third and fourth signings for Steve Bruce’s side during the January transfer window.
— Aston Villa FC (@AVFCOfficial) January 25, 2017
They follow in the footsteps of Henri Lansbury, who joined from Nottingham Forest and youngster Sam Johnstone who is on a season-long loan from Manchester United.
The deals for the duo would be seen as remarkable because Bree is considered a highly-rated youngster and Icelandic international Bjarnason has been playing Champions League football this term.
Bruce’s side have not won a game since the turn of the year as they have suffered three defeats in their last four games.
Villa will be looking to end that run when they travel to Brentford next Tuesday with their new signings amongst their ranks.
Football Insider verdict:
Villa have done very well to sign the duo who bring different qualities and experiences to the table. Right-back Bree is an athletic defender, who can attack and defend in equal measures, including having great experience in the Championship. By contrast, Bjarnason is a versatile midfielder, who has played across Europe, including playing in the Champions League. He also has vasts amounts of experience on the international stage, having played a part in Iceland’s successful Euro 2016 campaign which included knocking England out the tournament. However, the club deserves big plaudits for the fees paid for these players because if the signings were to be unsuccessful then Villa would not lose out on much. Furthermore, in someone like Bree, if he were to be sold down the line to a bigger club, then Villa would make a big profit out of his sale.
In other Aston Villa transfer news, the club has reached a finale in their pursuit of this winger