To finish in the top five would represent a fantastic achievement for the Villans this season, although they might need a few extra provisions going forward. After all, while John Carew and Gabby Agbonlahor make a formidable partnership, there’s not a great deal of cover for what will be a long and match-packed season.
Just Marlon Harewood and Moustapha Salifou remain in the wings now, with The Independent reporting that Shaun Maloney has called time on his stint at Aston Villa by returning to Celtic. The striker will best be remembered for the brace he bagged at Stamford Bridge on Boxing Day last season, when the Villans drew 4-4 with Chelsea.
Team-mate Paul Hartley believes Maloney will have no problem settling back into life in Glasgow.
He said: “It’s a good move for him and a good move for the club.
“We are always looking to improve and he is another good player.
“We have a good squad as it is now and we know Shaun can play in a number of positions.
“He had a good spell at Celtic the first time so I’m sure he will do well again.”
The Midlands club could receive up to £2.5 million for the player, which is not a bad piece of business, considering they stumped up just £1 million for his services. Who should Villa sign as a replacement?