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Aston Villa, and their manager Steve Bruce, are hard to evaluate. Full of optimism last season, they disappointed dreadfully, but to the rest of the football world, their performance was no surprise at all.
This year though, they seem to have found at least some consistency in their play and currently sit handily at 6th place, one point ahead of Midlands rivals Derby County, in the final play-off place.
There is definitely enough quality in this squad now for Villa to make some sort of promotion bid, with the top two still being the ambition of their manager and the fans, and a few tweaks to the backroom are bound to come in the January window.
Incomings are certain, but to make room in the squad, some people will have to leave. Here are three players Villa may look to get rid of in the winter transfer window:
The Icelandic international only joined last January but, unlike so many of his countrymen riding the crest of a wave given their international exploits, he has not lived up to expectations domestically.
To be fair, Bjarnason has been limited to 2 Championship starts and just 4 sub appearances this term, but has made little to no impression when given the chance. So he may well be moved on in order to make way for a little more quality back up.
Very hot property when leading the line for Brentford and looked set to be another Andre Gray. However, with the greatest respect the fact that it was Villa who showed the most serious interest and not one of the soon to be promoted sides or indeed a Premier League club, the alarm bells began to ring.
Hogan has not made the sort of impact that was expected of him, and he now finds not only Jonathan Kodjia but also Keinan Davis ahead of him in the pecking order at Villa Park. A move to another team in the Championship would be a wise move for the player – perhaps Fulham?
The rather irritating, wind-up merchant that is Lansbury was signed from Nottingham Forest last winter, but again, he has made little impact.
From his days at Arsenal to now not being a first choice midfielder in the Championship, Lansbury’s trajectory is a downward one and it may pay for Villa to recognise this now and get rid of him while he still has some value elsewhere.