Aston Villa transfer targets, rumours and odds: Unai Emery needs more squad depth

This season, and ever since Unai Emery has come into the club, to be honest, it's been a magical ride for the Aston Villa supporters. They find themselves in the top four having not lost a single game at home all season and beaten the likes of Manchester City and Arsenal.21

The top Midlands outfit are now looking very much like one of the favourites to finish inside the top four come the end of the season. However, a few injuries to key players could indeed alter that prediction, so signings this month will be key for Emery.

Aston Villa transfer targets, rumours and odds
Unai Emery will be keen to improve Aston Villa's squad depth – Photo by Icon sport

Aston Villa transfer targets, rumours and odds

Unai Emery must secure a back-up striker

Ollie Watkins has been in scintillating form since Unai Emery walked through the doors at Villa Park. This season has been no different, with 14 goal involvements to his name across all competitions.

However, his backup, Jhon Duran, has scored just one goal this season and doesn't look good enough to lead the line for Villa. The Colombian may well be a sufficient player for the final 10 minutes or cup games, but a more ample striker must be recruited in case Watkins was to pick up an injury.

Rumoured Aston Villa signings in January 2024

Roberto Firmino 10/1 (11.0) *

The former Liverpool striker is said to be keen on a return to the Premier League, but with age certainly not on his side, a secondary role where he can help Watkins develop could be ideal.

Firmino was an excellent servant for Liverpool in the Premier League and would be a steal for Emery to add someone of such experience within his ranks as they go in search of a top-four spot as well as European glory. So, while these are projected odds, looking at what bookmakers are offering for him to join other clubs, 10/1 would be a rather sensible offer.

Roberto Firmino is keen on a return to the Premier League – Photo by Icon Sport

Kalvin Phillips 16/1 (17.0)

While a new striker should be the priority, improving Villa's overall squad depth is key to them being able to compete on three fronts in the second half of the season. This move for Phillips, however, could depend on what happens with Douglas Luiz.

Phillips is said to be allowed to leave Manchester City on loan this month and Villa could do with some more depth in midfield when it comes to a ball-playing midfielder that could help ease the load on Luiz. They may have to move quickly though because Newcastle United are said to be very interested in the England international.

Antoine Griezmann 25/1 (26.0)

As well as just being a top-class coach, Unai Emery is also able to attract world-class players because of his aura and success on the pitch. So, Antoine Griezmann moving to Villa Park could be a slightly more audacious and aggressive move.

The French international has been thriving at Atletico Madrid so would be difficult to get him out of the Spanish capital and move to the Midlands, but with Villa looking threatening once again, Griezmann could add experience, goals and versatility to an exciting squad.

Rumoured Aston Villa departures in January 2024

Douglas Luiz 6/1 (7.0)

It looked as though the Brazilian star was going to leave for Arsenal in the summer, but instead, he signed a new deal and has been one of the Premier League's best midfielders this season.

Those sorts of performances have seen interest grow in Luiz with Arsenal still keen on the midfielder, however, it's Liverpool who are seen as the favourites for his signature in January. This may be down to them losing Wataru Endo to the Asia Cup for several weeks.

Aston Villa's Douglas Luiz and Ollie Watkins celebrate
Douglas Luiz has been one of the best midfielders this season – Photo by Icon sport

Emiliano Martinez 10/1 (11.0) *

The Aston Villa number one has established himself as one of the best goalkeepers in football since the 2022 Qatar World Cup when he was a huge reason Argentina won the competition. Martinez is now certainly a world-class keeper and that has seen him attracting interest.

During the summer, there was talk about him leaving for football in Italy, or even down to London with big spenders Chelsea keen before they opted for the cheaper option of Robert Sanchez.

While nothing appears imminent in terms of Martinez's future, the longer that he keeps up this sunning form, the more clubs will be taking a keen look at him and his services.

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Aaron Hindhaugh

Aaron is a multi-skilled sports content writer and media professional. He is a specialist in both Men's and Women's football, along with golf.