This is an ongoing blog which will look at each area of Aston Villa’s squad of players that are contracted to the club at the end of the 2016 season. The first post will go through all the Goalkeepers at the club, looking at whether the club should attempt to keep them on, or try to offload them out of the club. After a season of failure, following years of near misses, it is easy to suggest that the entire squad should be ripped up, so the aim is to look objectively at every player.
1 - Brad Guzan
The big American goalkeeper is slowly becoming part of the furniture at Villa Park, having been signed originally by Martin O’Neill. This makes him the second longest serving member of the senior squad, behind Gabriel Agbonlahor, which can be viewed in two very different ways. Having been there for so long he will understand the club, the fans, the expectations and be an old head in the dressing room that doesn’t cause trouble or grab the wrong headlines. However, unfortunately for him he has been the goalkeeper to have taken Villa through year after year of relegation battles and his form took a nosedive that he didn’t seem to quite recover from.
He is still the USA’s first choice keeper and has helped keep us up in many seasons. Under the new management, especially with the new goalkeeper coach coming in, he is worth giving another chance. If the club receive any serious bids I can see him potentially wanting to put the last season behind him with a fresh start, but he doesn’t need to be forced out the club.
31 - Mark Bunn
A strange one in the sense that he hasn’t showered himself in glory during his time at the club, but hasn’t been any worse than Guzan this season and has pulled off a couple of impressive saves. He hasn’t been a regular first choice keeper since 2009 with Sheffield United in the Championship. With his career slowly heading downward, and seemingly only ever signed permanently as a backup keeper, I would prefer it if he was moved on in the summer.
13 - Jed Steer
Jed has been at the club a fair few years now and has never made the step up from third choice keeper, which would initially ring alarm bells and suggest he’s surplus to requirements. However, this season just gone he’s been sent out on loan to Huddersfield and by all accounts has done a good job for them, to the point that they’ve extended his loan twice. A keeper who is young and still developing, Aston Villa could do a lot worse than keep him at the club, even if it was as second choice. Whether he’d want to be second choice is another question though. The chances are he has found his level and if Huddersfield are interested in keeping him permanently, I would let him go.
41 - Bradley Watkins
I know relatively little about this goalkeeper, but what I am aware of is that he has slowly overtaken Benjamin Seigrist in the eyes of the academy staff, who looked a capable goalkeeper himself at one time. I would guess though, at 21 years old, he probably hasn’t progressed to the level that would make him a viable bench keeper. With his contract up at the end of the month, it is unlikely that it will get renewed.
To summarise, I would only be looking to keep hold of Guzan for next season, but even then I wouldn’t say no to a reasonable offer. There are a lot of good goalkeepers in the lower leagues and this is one position we cannot afford to take a risk with. Rumours of Daniel Bentley are very welcome as I think he would be a fantastic option, but there are other keepers, such as David Marshall, who we could launch an ambitious bid for.
I would consider signing:
David Marshall - looked good for Cardiff in the Premier League, plenty of experience
Boaz Myhill - was at West Bromwich under Di Matteo and Clarke, looked solid when called on
Daniel Bentley - My preferred choice, an excellent young keeper for Southend who looks ready to take the next step. Hopefully Aston Villa can convince him to do that with them.
It would make sense to build from the back, so a solid goalkeeping signing early on in the transfer window would be a signal of intent.
Let's hope they don't come in for Jack, but moves like this make me feel nervous and I think the sale of dembele could be a sign.
I think to bring jack in they would of needed to sell to get the cash up since the owner of spurs is a cheapskate. They had already once highlighted Jack as the ideal midfield man they wanted.
As sad as I would be to see Jack go, if anything with our whole team changing in the summer, it may be for the best. We do need a team again that isn't reliant on a few players and most of all the sake of Jack could really help eith FFP.
Who knows it's all speculation but it wouldn't surprise me if they came in for Grealish now..
I would beg to differ with all due respect - when we fired Di matteo and hired that chump - it was done with one thing in mind - promotion and I do believe the same thing has happened once more - otherwise why would the club have moved to act when they did?
I find it hard to accept that until its mathematically not possible to go up - the powers that be will be pressing Smith to the limits to achieve this imo
For gods sake! I've had high hopes of him coming back and showing what he can do, I think his passing ability would fit well with the way DS wants to play. But I'm staring to beleive he will never come back, how many injuries can a man have?? Ok if he was nearing 40, but he's not even 30, what's wrong with him? That strong good looking appearence is just a facade, behind the surface is an old mans crooked and fragile body.
Could tottenhams 11 million pound sale of Mousa Dembélé be an indication that they may come in for Jack Grealish given there a midfielder light now.
Sorry if it's taking away from what you guys are talking about, it's just that it seems strange they have sold one of there's yet have no players that have come in as of yet.
How many times have you seen him play then? 😄
I rate him highly, I think he has showed that he is really talanted. Has got good technique, a sweet left foot and looks like an intelligent player, not the kick and run or rush winger but a passer with awareness who can fit in a system. IIRC there were rumours of Saints and Spurs tracking him, which says much about his potential. He had a bad injury and said himself it affected him afterwards in the way that he was cautious and afraid he'd tore it up again when he played. Hopefully he is back to full fitness, builds up his confidence and can kick on. He's still young and can certainly improve. Funny that he's only 20, feels like he has been with us for ages.
Very happy that he's back, if he can get in form I'd like to see him be a starter or at least give him a run in the side.