Championship outfit Aston Villa failed to muster any sort of substantial challenge to secure a promotion spot in the English second division last season. The Villans could secure merely a 13th place finish and frankly speaking, things could have been a lot worse had they failed to register a late dash.
For a club of their stature which boasts of a rich and illustrious history and the team they possess, they must be desperately looking forward to mount a serious challenge for promotion in the upcoming season. The Lions have already strengthened their squad further by luring John Terry, Christopher Samba, Ahmed Elmohamady and Glenn Whelan to their ranks this summer.
Looking at the kind of signings that have been made, it is apparent that Villa are aiming to add steel and mettle by signing proven veterans with truckloads of experience. However, some finishing touches are still being look at Steve by Bruce and a few days back, reports did emerge that Aston Villa were perceived to be in the race to land Crystal Palace’s midfielder James McArthur at the Villa Park.
McArthur is almost sure to leave the Selhurst Park this summer as Frank de Boer is attempting to make galvanising changes to his squad. However, McArthur still has admirers in the Premier League and although the reports linking him to Aston Villa have dried of late, Bruce should not let the opportunity of signing McArthur slip away.
Last season in the Premier League, the 29-year-old banged in 5 goals and acquired 3 assists in 29 games for Crystal Palace and showed that he still has the legs to thrive. McCarthy also mustered 2.1 tackles, 0.9 interceptions, 0.8 clearances and 0.2 blocks per game on an average and was operated in a wide array of slots such as central defensive midfield, central midfield, and central attacking midfield as well as on the left wing when needed.
He is a good interceptor, is a shrewd tackler and times his tackles perfectly more often than not, orchestrates the midfield in a commendable manner and maintains his composure in the midfield. Besides, he is a good passer of the ball, toils relentlessly and caters to the defensive aspects of the game.
The Scottish international emerged through the youth ranks of Hamilton Academical and then represented their senior side. His impressive spell with Wigan Athletic (after being signed by the Latics) made him earn a name for himself on the English soil and he was eventually taken in by the Eagles. Steve Bruce already has a decent midfield unit, but someone like McArthur will enhance the quality further.
Statistics Credits: Whoscored