Big needs have emerged at central midfield and right wing, but left-back may just be the biggest concern of them all.
That's why Paul Lambert needs to revive the deal Alex McLeish had in place to land Massadio Haidara (via The Mirror).
What does Lambert have to work with at the moment then?
Summer signing Joe Bennett is a raw prospect and the Scot has placed his trust in him. Unfortunately, his tendency to leave the field early—courtesy of the stretcher or the referee's cards—have often left Villa in a bit of a hole midway through games.
Bennett's backup is Eric Lichaj, a U.S. international right-back capable of playing on the left side. Unfortunately, he's just not good enough for English Premier League football and in an ideal world, would be sold to a League One or Championship side.
The most experienced left-back on the roster, Stephen Warnock, is not wanted at the club due to his rash tendencies and penchant for yellow cards. He's on loan at Bolton Wanderers.
If reports are to be believed, McLeish had Villa in line for a £2 million swoop for Haidara back in June. That fee will have likely doubled considering his recent growth, but it's still a worthy investment.
Lambert would be set at left-back should he use the duo of Haidara and Bennett there, and with the current shortage of top-tier full-backs emerging, it's a great future investment with an opportunity to sell on.
Footballing statistics website WhoScored? ran two features on the Trappes-born teenager during the summer and described him as a raw, emerging prospect.
This season, he's improved despite his current club, AS Nancy, being rooted to the foot of the Ligue 1 table. He's even been tried in central midfield, and he excelled there too.
If Haidara is available for anything up to £5 million, Randy Lerner needs to fund the deal.
Not only would it plug a gaping hole in the Villans' ranks, but also provide the American owner with a decent investment worth double or triple the figure paid in two years time.
If Bennett could keep himself on the field, the claret and blue side would likely be set already due to Ciaran Clark's ability to deputise on the left combined with Richard Dunne's impending return.
But early signs don't look good for the Middlesbrough product.
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