Aston Villa came very close to promotion to the Premier League last season. Steve Bruce marshalled his troops well and marched to the playoff final but were ultimately denied by an enterprising Fulham side and hence the Villans have to do it all over again.
They missed out on the opportunity to lay their hands on the lucre that Premier League has on offer. Besides, failure to get themselves to the top flight has already started to take a toll on the West Midlands side, as they probably have to sell some of their best players this summer to meet the regulations imposed by the Financial Fair Play.
According to a recent report by ESPN, it is understood that Villa must raise up to £40million to comply with the FFP regulations. Although club owner, Tony Xia, has stated that the club is not for sale, he and Bruce have admitted that some of their key players might face the exit door. Here are three players who might eventually be major absentees for Aston Villa in the 2018-19 Championship campaign.
Aston Villa midfielder, Jack Grealish, was one of the best talents to blossom under the tutelage of Bruce last season in the Championship. The 22-year-old scored 3 goals and garnered 6 assists in 30 appearances in the league and dazzled more often than not. Seeing him leave the Villa Park will be a big loss for the Lions, and reportedly, Tottenham Hotspur have already lined up to sign him.
Alongside John Terry, James Chester formed a formidable partnership at the heart of the back line of Bruce’s side in the previous term. In all fairness, Chester established himself as one of the best defenders in the English second division and proved himself to be a reliable asset more often than not. However, in order to fall in line with the regulations, Bruce has stated that he might be forced to sell Chester.
In what is expected to be a very anxious summer for Aston Villa fans, there is a big question mark over the chances of Jonathan Kodjia leading the line for them come the start of the season. Owing to the financial chaos Aston Villa find themselves in at the moment, the 28-year-old is on the radar of Newcastle United and Leeds United. Like the other two already mentioned, striking Kodjia off the books can be disastrous for the club as he is a genuinely clinical goal scorer and will be integral to their renewed promotion push.
Stats Courtesy: Whoscored