There's no denying that this summer's transfer window has very much quietened down for Aston Villa. This is, of course, mostly because of Villa's excellent organisation in getting their main targets through the door early.
Boubacar Kamara and Diego Carlos both came in before the end of May, meaning both players now have a full pre-season under their belt with their new teammates. Brilliant business by Aston Villa, especially when you include the agreement to keep Philippe Coutinho on a permanent deal as well.
Having said that, it has resulted in a rather lackluster couple of months on the transfer front. Sure, we have seen Ashley Young sign a year extension, as well as the return of Robin Olsen, and the loan signing of backup left back - Ludwig Augustinsson.
We'd be lying, though, if we said any of these recent signings have blown our socks off in the same way Kamara and Carlos did. So it begs the question, could there still be one more major signing? With some potential outgoings, could we see some surprise incomings? And if so, who?
In this article, I'm going to run through five potential signings Villa could still pull off. With all the discussion surrounding a new striker or a number 8, all these picks will be from one of those two positions.
Note: Before we get started, this is all just a bit of fun. I am personally very happy with Villa's business in this window, so please do not attack me if some of these picks are a bit out there. UTV.
The young Albanian forward, who is currently signed with Chelsea, had a really impressive season on loan at Southampton. So much so that he has attracted interest from the likes of Real Madrid, with Everton and Newcastle also seriously interested in the player.
Broja has a ton of potential, there's no denying that. And having a big target man in a similar mould to Cristian Benteke may excite some Villa fans. If he is available, and Villa are indeed in the market for a striker, then there's a very good chance Borja has at least been discussed amongst the Villa hierarchy.
However, the negatives probably outweigh the positives on this deal. There's a good chance that Chelsea would rather loan out the youngster again, rather than sell him. So if Villa can't benefit from his potential upside, then what's the point?
With Cameron Archer looking like he will stay with the squad this season, there's really no need to bring in another team's young and upcoming striker. Never say never, though.
James Ward-Prowse is a player that was on Villa's radar a lot last summer, but with Southampton already letting Danny Ings go to Villa Park, Ward-Prowse was never going to happen.
One year later and any talk of this deal has yet to resurface, which may be surprising if Villa are actually in the market for another midfielder. There's no doubt that Southampton would demand a big sum for their star man, and a deal like this may only happen if Douglas Luiz does decide to leave Villa in this window.
It's unlikely that the Villa board will want to splash out big money on a player like Ward-Prowse. Especially while Luiz, Sanson, and even Chukwuemeka, are all still on the books. There's also no guarantee that Villa are even interested anymore. It appeared as if Dean Smith was really high on the player, Steven Gerrard might be a different story, though.
Either way, if Villa do want to sign a number 8, Ward-Prowse would definitely fit the bill.
Another Chelsea player and one that Villa fans know all too well. Ross Barkley is reportedly being offered to Premier League teams, with Villa being one of those teams mentioned.
Although we saw some very bright moments of Barkley in a Villa shirt, I think most supporters would agree that the poor performances definitely outnumbered the good ones.
The instinctive reaction here is "no thank you, been there and done that". But it's worth asking if Barkley would be happy to come back in a bit-part role. There's no way that Barkley should be making his way into Villa's starting eleven anytime soon, but having him as an extra option throughout the season may not be the worst scenario imaginable. Especially in a season that now allows five substitutes in a game.
Okay, okay, I know this is ridiculous but hear me out. Rewind all the way back to this time last season.. Now picture yourself reading one of these articles with the suggestion that Villa could sign Philippe Coutinho. You wouldn't believe it would you? I wouldn't have!
But here we are, Steven Gerrard's Aston Villa are not shy of making massive moves in this market. Coutinho, Kamara and Carlos are all proof of this. So with Memphis Depay being the latest player who Barcelona want to move out, could Villa come knocking again the same way we did for Coutinho?
Admittedly, there isn't the past relationship between player and manager like there was for Coutinho, but that won't stop Gerrard asking the question.
Of course, Depay is way more likely to move to a club with European football. But it hasn't happened yet.. If it gets towards the end of the window and no top team takes a punt on Depay, there's every chance that Villa could come in with a sneaky offer. Maybe even a loan with an option to buy, much like the Coutinho deal.
Make no mistake, Gerrard wants winners and the board wants Villa to be branded as an elite club. This signing would tick both of those boxes, even if it is all a bit pie in the sky at this point.
Yet another Chelsea player creeps their way onto this list. Villa were already linked with Conor Gallagher earlier in this window after the midfielder had an excellent season on loan at Crystal Palace.
Gallagher's impressive performances were enough to get him his first caps for England. So with that in mind, he's unlikely to be happy sitting on Chelsea's bench with a World Cup fast approaching.
Much like Broja, Chelsea may be reluctant to actually sell the player, and may well prefer Gallagher go back out on loan. Although that wouldn't be ideal for Villa, Gallagher has proven that he can hit the ground running and make an instant impact at whichever club he ends up at.
With Douglas Luiz's future still in doubt, and Morgan Sanson struggling to live up to expectations, having Gallagher around the place for a year really doesn't seem like the worst option in the world. And who knows, maybe he could even fall in love with the club and try to push for a permanent move next season.
So there we have it, five signings Villa could still make in the final few weeks of the summer transfer window.
Once again, this is all just a bit of fun and if Villa's window is indeed complete, then so be it.
If you can't get enough of Villa transfer talk, or just Villa talk in general, then make sure you're following @AVFCFaithfulPod for the first ever episode of our new podcast with Dan and James. You don't want to miss it!