Aston Villa opinion: The Villans have to step up and sign Neil Etheridge
They may have won the playoff finals and reached the Premier League after a rather long three-year absence but Aston Villa still have a lot of work to do. Their team is far from perfect and they have to use the summer window very intelligently.
Their most realistic transfer targets will either be the relegation sides or loan signings. The likes of Huddersfield, Cardiff City and even Fulham all have quality stars in their ranks despite the fact that they are going down. Fulham, for example, spent just over £100 million last summer, so there is bound to be a few stars worth picking up.
Huddersfield depended heavily on bargain buys and thus not all of them managed to hit the mark. But Cardiff City have a few stars that can be picked off and the Daily Mail has reported that Aston Villa have already submitted a bid for Neil Etheridge.
The 29-year old endured an interesting season and probably will walk away as one of the club’s best players this season. He was outstanding at times, not letting his rather small frame for a goalkeeper affect him, making a few incredible saves.
But the Mail has further reported that the £8 million bid has been rejected and Villa are in trouble if they do not make it work. The Lions need an upgrade and given that Mark Bunn is amongst the 8 players leaving the club, it makes things even worse.
Jed Steer, Lovre Kalinic and Orjan Nyland shared goalkeeping duties but they all need to be upgraded. It’s why a move for someone like Neil Etheridge makes perfect sense.
Despite Cardiff City’s defensive and offensive struggles, Etheridge finished with 10 clean sheets to his name. That’s more than Wolverhampton Wanderers, Arsenal, West Ham and even Manchester United’s goalkeepers.
That alone shows just how good he has been and maybe with a better front-line things might have been different for Cardiff. Aston Villa need that kind of player, someone who can singlehandedly save them a point or a game, which might cost them big time in the long run.
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Neil Etheridge is arguably the best goalkeeper that Aston Villa can get in the summer window and if they do not make a move for him, their options might not deliver. The Lions need a reliable shot-stopper in their ranks and that is what the 29-year-old Etheridge is.