COMMENT by Amir Mir
Steve Bruce recently opted to play Aston Villa powerhouse Mile Jedinak at centre-back after first-team regular Nathan Baker was injured.
The Australian played in a back four during the wins against Sheffield Wednesday and most recently at Wigan last Saturday.
This despite having specialist centre-back Tommy Elphick on the bench, perhaps a massive hint by his manager as to where his future lies at the end of this campaign.
Here, Football Insider looks at three centre-backs Villa could target this summer to bring depth and quality to the squad:
Phil Jagielka – Experienced, proven performer at the top level who would instantly be an upgrade on Elphick and Baker. It won’t be a surprise to see the 34-year-old leave Goodison Park in the summer, especially with his contract due to expire in 2018. His calm head is exactly what Villa need alongside the impressive and consistent James Cheser.
Harry Maguire – Hull City could end up in the Championship at the end of the season and they will have a number of young players that will be targetted. The hard-hitting Maguire will be one of those players. He has already worked with Bruce before and has impressed during the Tigers relegation-threatened campaign. Perhaps a long shot, but an improving player who is worth looking at.
Reece Oxford – The highly-rated West Ham ace is currently out on loan at Reading and it is likely he will be sent out for more experience next season. The 18-year-old’s versatility and ability on the ball would provide that quality and depth required. Age may put off some supporters, but it’s the quality he brings that matters.
In other Aston Villa news, three wonderkids the club could sign on loan to solve this problem area.