Aston Villa will return to the Premier League next season, and in order to solidify their position in the top flight, plans have begun for a squad reshuffle.
Dean Smith’s side secured promotion after defeating Derby County in the Championship playoff final on Monday, ending their absence from the top tier of English football.
In order to stay there, Villa will undoubtedly be planning changes to the squad to add quality and depth, but the first step has been to offload deadwood and stalwarts who seemingly have no future at the club.
As reported by Sky Sports, Mile Jedinak, Alan Hutton, Tommy Elphick, Albert Adomah, Glenn Whelan, Ritchie De Laet, Mark Bunn and Micah Richards have all been cut from the squad.
On one hand, it’s sensible planning from Villa as ultimately the individuals above aren’t arguably Premier League quality at this stage of their careers and so releasing them will create space in the squad and raise funds by axing their salaries off the wage bill.
However, it could also be argued that Smith will lose a lot of experience and leadership in that group of players, and so he’ll have to work hard with the club to replace them and ensure that he has enough at his disposal to cope with the rigours of a gruelling Premier League campaign.
For now though, it seems like a sensible strategy on the face of it as they will be working hard in what will be a busy summer to put themselves in the best possible position to maintain their top flight status.