Fantasy PL – Aston Villa’s New Boys

Aston Villa have most recently dominated some of the Premier League’s transfer news, not least because of star-player Christian Benteke’s decision to join league rivals Liverpool for a fee of £32.5 million. The Villains have been busy trying to improve a squad that has arguably struggled with the demands of the self-proclaimed best league in the world. With regards to the upcoming Fantasy Premier League season, we looked at Villa’s new signings and reviewed their respective potential.

Mark Bunn – Goalkeeper – £4.5 million – Last Club: Norwich City – Performance Data 2014/15

The 30-year old goalkeeper will be nothing more than a back-up to American number one Brad Guzan who is set to remain Villa’s first-choice in goal. Last season, Bunn was with Norwich in the Championship, but only made two appearances for the Canaries’ U21s. The shot-stopper failed to make it into any matchday squad for Norwich and will surely have a similar role at Villa Park.

Micah Richards – Right-Back – £4.5 million – Last Club: Fiorentina – Performance Data 2014/15

27-year old Richards is certainly a well-known name in England and has racked up a fairly impressive 180 Premier League games in nine top-flight years at Manchester City. In recent seasons in particular, the England international was used less and less, and was ultimately sent out on loan to Italian Serie A side Fiorentina in September 2014. His time in Italy was far from impressive and Richards only managed ten Serie A appearances across the season. He too joins Villa on a free transfer and will be hoping to find the kind of form that once made him one of the league’s best right-backs. Being equally comfortable at centre-back, Richards is likely to get enough minutes on the pitch. Should he manage to discover his vintage form from years ago, the Englishman will certainly be able to do more than just compete with Alan Hutton, and might just become one of the league’s best defenders yet again.

Jordan Amavi – Left-Back – £5 million – Last Club: OGC Nice – Performance Data 2014/15

French left-back Jordan Amavi recently joined Villa from French side OGC Nice for a fee of £7.7 million. He is an unknown quantity in England, but has already racked up 55 French Ligue 1 appearances at just 21 years of age. Last season was Amavi’s breakthrough year, after he nailed down the starting left-back position at the Southern French club. He made a total of 36 appearances and scored four important goals during the campaign; one of these was a directly converted corner. Unfortunately, the youngster also collected 11 yellow cards, which might be an issue from an investment perspective. Amavi is an attacking left-back and should provide the odd assist and has the potential to score goals, given his impressive shooting ability. The Frenchman is extremely skilled and regarded as one of the country’s brightest defensive talents. As such, it will not be too much of a surprise, should his name fill the starting left-back spot of the national team in the near future. In many ways, getting this player represents a coup of sorts for Aston Villa and the club’s supporters will be treated to some great performances like these, if Amavi manages to settle in quickly. This could be regarded as a must-buy.

Idrissa Gueye – Central Midfielder –£5 million – Last Club: Lille OSC – Performance Data 2014/15

Senegalese midfielder Gueye also recently left French Ligue 1 to try his luck across the Channel. The 25-year old joined Villa for a fee of £6.3 million and will be expected to fill the void left by Fabian Delph’s departure to Manchester City, although he had joined the club before Delph’s transfer was confirmed. Gueye comes to Villa Park with the experience of 176 games for his previous club, where he also took part in a Champions League campaign. Last season, Gueye made 32 Ligue 1 appearances, with four goals, three assists and four yellow cards to his name. Gueye is a combative but technically versatile midfielder. His passing is of high of the highest quality, which can often lead to goals like this one. At £5 million, Idrissa Gueye may be regarded as a bargain and will certainly improve Villa’s quality in midfield.

Jordan Ayew – Striker – TBC – Last Club: FC Lorient – Performance Data 2014/15

23 years of age and 159 Ligue 1 and 14 Champions League appearances in the bag. Jordan Ayew is certainly not a mere talent and will be joining Aston Villa with some significant experience on his CV. He too is set to move to the Premier League from the French top flight. Villa are believed to have agreed a fee of £12 million with the French club and the young forward can be regarded as a replacement for Christian Benteke, despite being a completely different type of striker. The transfer is not yet fully confirmed but should go through in the next few days. Ayew is known for his quick feet, his agility, but arguably not so much for his goal scoring abilities. Last season, the Ghana international had a fairly productive campaign, having scored 12 goals and provided seven assists in 31 league games. Here are a few highlights from Ayew’s time at Lorient. The striker is likely to succeed in the Premier League, given his physical attributes in particular. Although it is unclear as to how much he will cost fantasy football connoisseurs, Ayew can be regarded as a good investment and might surprise a few in the next few months.

In addition to the above mentioned players, Scott Sinclair’s loan from Manchester City had already been turned into a permanent move. The winger already spent the second half of last season at Villa Park and was impressive enough to earn himself a permanent move. The 26-year old Englishman is likely to be a key player for Tim Sherwood’s side this season and will certainly collect more than last season’s 22 points. Sinclair comes in at £5 million and might be another decent investment.

Having earned from Benteke’s move to Liverpool, Aston Villa are likely to add more players to their squad and are likely to become a decent proposition for the upcoming Premier League campaign. It remains to be seen as to how many more players will end up at Villa Park, but for the time being, the squad’s quality has definitely improved.