By 90Min
September 01, 2017

Thursday saw the close of the 2017 summer transfer window and despite it ending on a relatively quiet note for Aston Villa, it certainly has been a busy one.

 

All in all, seven new faces arrived at Villa Park over the past two months, with nine players leaving the club for pastures new.

 

Here is a comprehensive review of the club's transfer policy this summer and a closer look at whether Villa fans should be happy with Steve Bruce's final squad.

Harry Trump/GettyImages


Incoming

 

Bruce has gone for experience this window, coupled with the emergence of a number of youth players who are forcing their way into the first team.

 

The club's marquee signing this summer was former England captain John Terry. The defender joined on a one-year deal from Chelsea, where he won every major trophy possible.

 

Terry is born leader and his winning mentality could yet prove to be infectious in the Villa changing room.

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Alongside Terry, Villa recruited three  proven Premier League players in Ahmed Elmohamady, Chris Samba and Glenn Whelan.

 

The trio will bring experience and a resilience which Villa have lacked over the past few years.

 

In nets, the Midlands club turned to a familiar face in Sam Johnstone, who returned to Villa on loan, for the second year in a row.

 

The keeper is well respected at Villa Park and could join the club permanently next summer when his Manchester United contract expires.

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Bruce's final two acquisitions saw Tottenham's Josh Onomah and West Ham's Robert Snodgrass join on loan.

 

Onomah has already impressed with his creativity and dynamism, whilst Snodgrass adds a wealth of Championship experience, as well as a goal scoring streak which Villa desperately need.


Outgoing

 

Few Villa fans would argue that Bruce has gone a good job in clearing the deadwood at B6, especially those players scarred from the infamous 2015/16 season.

Aston Villa v Watford - Pre Season Friendly
Aston Villa v Watford - Pre Season Friendly

The likes of Jordan Veretout, Carlos Sanchez, Leandro Bacuna and Aly Cissokoho all left Villa Park permanently this summer, whilst Carlos Gil and Jordan Amavi secured loan moves away from the club, which will likely become permanent at the end of the season.


All six players were part of Villa's relegation season two years ago and were never likely to win over those in the Holte End again.

 

Midfielders Gary Gardner and Aaron Tshibola also departed on short-term deals, but neither look likely to force their way into Bruce's future first team plans.

 

Perhaps the only shock outgoing from Villa Park was Nathan Baker.

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The defender had been a regular starter during the second half of last season, and many fans considered him to be a much more reliable back up than Chris Samba.


Verdict 

 

Overall it has been a good window for Villa, who have added a blend of quality, experience and hard working players, who will hopefully prove to be more resilient than their predecessors.

 

In particular, the signings of John Terry and Glen Whelan should add that necessary bit of steel to a Villa squad who have often been spineless over the past few seasons.

Mark Robinson/GettyImages

Thankfully for Bruce he has overseen the final mass exodus of Villa's relegation squad, with only five players now remaining from that traumatic season.

 

The former Sunderland and Hull boss should also be commended for bringing in seven players, whilst spending just £2m. In fact, given the club's outgoings, Villa actually made a profit during the window.

 

With a number of youth players such as Kienan Davis, Callum O'Hare and Jake Doyles-Hayes now forcing their way into the first team picture, Bruce really has assembled a squad with quality and depth.

Harry Trump/GettyImages

The only issue in the first team squad is the lack of a natural cover for left-back Neil Taylor. Ritchie De Laet and Bikir Bjarnason have filled in for the Welshman during Villa's League Cup ties, but a serious injury to Taylor could leave Bruce with real headache.

 

Only time will tell if Villa can mount a serious promotion push. They definitely have the squad, but whether they can play effectively as team and deal with pressure applied by the Villa faithful is another matter. 

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