After a summer of both incomings and outgoings, the summer window finally slammed shut at 11pm last night.
Villa added five new players to their squad this summer to not only strengthen and try to push on and improve on their 7th place finish last season in the Premier League, but to add much needed depth to be able to compete in the Europa Conference League as well as the two domestic cups.
Despite the incomings, there were also quite a few outgoings this summer as Emery looked to shift a lot of the deadwood from the squad and free up some space on the wage bill.
Villa's new signings have already made an impact this season. After an abysmal display at St. James's Park on the opening day, losing 5-1 to Newcastle United, Villa have bounced back, with the help of two signings, with two wins on the spin at home to Everton and away at Burnley, and they have also booked their spot in the Europa Conference League group stages where they will face Legia Warsaw of Poland, AZ Alkmaar of Netherlands and HSK Zrinjski of Bosnia & Herzegovina.
Let's take a look into every Aston Villa arrival and departure and assess how each individual player either joining or leaving the club can have an impact on Aston Villa's success this season.
Youri Tielemans - Free Transfer From Leicester City
Youri Tielemans' contract with Leicester City expired this summer after they were relegated under former Villa manager Dean Smith.
Tielemans was signed by Unai Emery to not only add quality to the midfield, but to also add experience in Europe as he has competed in the Champions League for both Anderlecht and Monaco, as well as the Europa League and the Europa Conference League with Leicester City.
It wasn't long ago when Tielemans was wanted by some of the top clubs in Europe. Leicester refused to sell him as he was too integral to the club. After a few injury problems and a poor season last campaign, Tielemans' contract with the foxes ran out and he left on a free transfer. Much to Unai Emery's delight, he managed to pick up a quality midfielder for absolutely nothing.
TIelemans is yet to start a Premier League game for Aston Villa so far, however throughout the season he could definitely play a big part. Especially if Villa were to go far in the Conference League and need the depth.
He'll be on high wages because he's a quality player with a big reputation, however when you look at the transfer fee and the quality of player, it's no denying that this is a superb signing.
Pau Torres - £33m From Villareal
Unai Emery was reunited with one of his old players when Aston Villa decided to splash out over thirty million pounds on a new centre back.
Torres worked with Emery at Villareal and won the Europa League with him in 2021 as well as getting to the Champions League semi final in 2022.
Torres is the definition of a ball playing defender. From five games we can tell that his on the ball capability is going to be key for Aston Villa. He assisted Jhon Duran against Hibernian in the Europa Conference League playoff game at Villa Park which proves the point that Torres is unbelievable on the ball.
When everyone is fully fit, Pau Torres would definitely be one of the first names on the team sheet, playing alongside either Tyrone Mings, Diego Carlos, Ezri Konsa, Calum Chambers or new boy from Barcelona, Clement Lenglet.
Villa paid a lot of money for Pau Torres, but competition was there from other clubs, therefore Villa needed to pay a lot in order to secure his signature.
A big price tag, yes, but Torres is already showing that he is worth every penny. Superb signing.
Moussa Diaby - £50m From Bayer Leverkusen
The new record signing, Moussa Diaby follows in the footsteps of his former Leverkusen teammate Leon Bailey in joining the Premier League to sign for Aston Villa.
Diaby's price tag is the most Aston Villa have ever paid for a player, so the expectations are high, however Diaby is already living up to those expectations. He scored a lovely goal on his debut away at Newcastle, and got a goal and an assist in Villa's recent triumph away at Burnley.
Along with Ollie Watkins, you'd like to think Moussa Diaby will be Villa's main source of output this season, and that's why they paid above the odds for him.
It's a hefty price tag, and as referenced just, with that comes a lot of expectation, but it looks like the Frenchman is already living up to that price tag. He is a must in your fantasy Premier League team.
Nicolo Zaniolo - Loan With Option To Buy From Galatasaray
The loan signing of Zaniolo is probably one that wouldn't have happened if Buendia stayed fit for the start of the season, however that doesn't mean that it's not one to get excited about.
Zaniolo is a twenty four year old Italian international who like Torres, Tielemans and Diaby, is experienced in Europe.
Zaniolo made his debut against Burnley last week, and from that short seventeen minute spell, it seems as if he isn't going to be a direct replacement for Emi Buendia. Zaniolo seems like a more direct player who would rather go for goal instead of looking for that final ball in order to create. However, that doesn't mean that it isn't a good signing.
If certain criteria within Zaniolo's loan spell is reached, he will be signed permanently for around £30m.
It's too early to judge this transfer as a good one or not yet, however in weeks to come I'm sure we'll be able to tell whether Zaniolo will be a success or flop at Aston Villa.
Clement Lenglet - Loan From Barcelona
Villa's fifth and final signing of the window was announced yesterday and it was Clement Lenglet who has joined on loan till the end of the season from Barcelona.
Like with Zaniolo, Lenglet has come in to add depth as another one of our players in Tyrone Mings has picked up a serious, long term injury, meaning we were down to Pau Torres, Diego Carlos, Ezri Konsa and Calum Chambers at centre back. WIth playing in Europe, four centre backs was never gonna be enough, especially as Diego Carlos has just come back from a long term injury himself.
Lenglet had a bit of an unsuccessful loan spell at Tottenham last season, however, when you look past that, he's got experience in Europe and at the top level playing for one of the best clubs in the world in Barcelona and winning trophies there.
It's not a risk. It's not like Zaniolo where there could be a mandatory future fee included based on certain criteria, it's just a season long loan deal where we can have him for depth whilst Mings gets back to full fitness.
Marvelous Nakamba - £3m To Luton Town
The first outgoing on the list, Marvelous Nakamba joined newly promoted Luton Town following his successful loan spell there last season where he won promotion with them.
Like many of our outgoings, they've been done to shift deadwood. Nakamba's been a decent servant for Villa and has put in some good performances since joining in 2019, but he isn't the man we need as we continue our project.
Wesley - Undisclosed To Stoke City
A transfer that never worked out. Wesley was signed for a record fee in 2019 and was signed to be the man to score the goals to keep us in the Premier League. The objective of staying up was achieved, but Wesley only scored five goals in twenty one games. He started to improve before being ruled out for the remainder of the season on new year's day 2020 following a horror challenge from Ben Mee, and that was the last we really saw of Wesley due to us signing Ollie Watkins for a record fee the next window.
A real shame as if it wasn't for that injury, it could've worked for Wesley.
Ashley Young - Free Transfer To Everton
Another transfer that hit a lot of Villa fans, Ashley Young was released after returning in 2021 for a two year spell with the club. He played a key part both on and off the pitch for Villa and helped us rise from mid table to European contenders. A lot of Villa fans wanted one more year of Ashley Young, however Emery decided against it and he was released and joined Everton.
Young got a good reception a few weeks back when he returned to Villa Park in a 4-0 loss to his former club.
Morgan Sanson - Loan With Option To Buy To OGC Nice
Another transfer that failed. Sanson was the only signing Villa made in January 2021. However, after falling outs with managers and various injury problems, it was never going to work for the Frenchman at Villa Park, and you'd like to think the option to buy will be triggered and that this will be the end of Sanson's infamous spell at Aston Villa.
Jed Steer - Released
Still without a club, Jed Steer was released at the end of last season after ten years at the club. Throughout those ten years, he proved vital for Villa, especially in the 2018/19 promotion winning campaign where Steer pulled off an absolute masterclass in the penalty shootout against arch rivals West Bromwich Albion to send Villa to the playoff final.
Keinan Davis - £3m To Udinese
Another player who failed to live up to the expectation, Keinan Davis broke into the first team around seven to eight years ago and started to impress in the 2017/18 campaign. However, it never really happened for him. Always overlooked by the likes of Jonathan Kodjia, Lewis Grabban and Tammy Abraham in the Championship, and then never really given the chance in the Premier League. He'll always be remembered for that late equaliser against West Brom in the 2020/21 season.
Davis is off to Italy, aged twenty five, he may still have a big future, but it won't be at Aston Villa.
Aaron Ramsey - £15m to Burnley
Brother of Jacob, Aaron Ramsey shun for Middlesbrough last season on loan in the Championship, alongside Cameron Archer. After failing to get promoted with Boro, Ramsey and Archer have both departed on permanent basis to newly promoted clubs. Both have options to buy back, so it's not like we've lost the players forever. If they both shine at Burnley and Sheffield United respectively, we will be able to trigger a buy back clause and continue their development at Aston Villa.
These moves are good for financial fair play as academy graduates being sold are way more beneficial. Ramsey, Archer, Philogene, Grealish and Chukwuemeka have generated around £160m for Aston Villa in the past two years. Vital for financial fair play and it also means we can continue to splash the cash on talent, just as we have been this summer.
Cameron Archer - £20m To Sheffield United
As referenced just, Archer shun for Middlesbrough last season in the Championship, getting eleven goals and six assists in twenty games for them.
His seventeen goal contributions in twenty games failed to secure promotion for Boro, and he has now signed for newly promoted Sheffield United where he will hopefully score the goals to keep them in the league.
Like with Aaron Ramsey, there is a buy back clause included in this deal, so if Archer is incredible for Sheffield United, Villa can sign him back and he can continue to be incredible for us.
Jaden Philogene - £5m To Hull City
After a successful loan spell at Cardiff last season and an impressive pre season for Villa, Jaden Philogene has been let go to Hull for £5m.
Another transfer that you'd think would have a buy back clause, and another transfer fee generated off an academy graduate.
No doubts Philogene will absolutely thrive in the Championship once again.
So, to summarise, a very positive window. A common trend within the arrivals is that all five players are experienced at the top level and in Europe which is what you want after qualifying for the group stages of a European competition for the first time in fifteen years.
The departures are just about shifting deadwood and developing younger players. No real starlets or assets have been lost, and we are definitely in a much better place squad wise than where we were at the end of last season. We've had a few unlucky injuries, Mings and Buendia are extensive, Ramsey, Moreno and Coutinho could return soon. However, despite the injuries, Aston Villa are in a great place to start their 2023/24 season under Unai Emery. Let's hope its one to remember.
BY HARRY BATTERS - @HarryBatters