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Grading Aston Villa's Transfer Window

At 10:55pm last night, five minutes before the transfer window slammed shut, Aston Villa announced the loan signing of Jan Bednarek from Southampton. After already securing a £13 million move for Leander Dendoncker from Wolves earlier in the day, Villa's summer transfer window is now over. 


With seven signings in total, and more than ten outgoings, it's been a moderately busy period for Villa. But has it been a successful one? In this article, we are going to go through all the major incomings and grade them individually before grading the window as a whole.


Note: I will be using old school A to F grading. This old man is way too out of touch to understand how kids grade things these days.


Philippe Coutinho


From: Barcelona

Fee: £18 million

Grade: B-


After a poor start to the season, it's easy to lose sight of just how good a deal this was. There's not a Villa fan deluded enough to believe this is the same Coutinho who left Liverpool for a record breaking £120 million, but for over £100 million less, this one was a no brainer.


Boubacar Kamara


From: Marseille 

Fee: £0

Grade: A+


Easily Villa's best signing of the window, and arguably one of the best summer signings in the league this year. Boubacar Kamara is the exact type of defensive midfielder that Villa fans have been crying out for. Not only did Villa beat Atletico Madrid to his signature, the club also got the young Frenchman on a free. Perfect business.


Diego Carlos


From: Sevilla

Fee: £27.9 million

Grade: C-


This is by far the most difficult grade to give. In fairness, it maybe should be written off as non-applicable. However, there's no denying that spending just shy of £30 million for a defender who is now injured for the season is nothing short of a disaster for the club. With a bit of luck, Carlos will come back strong and become the player Villa paid big bucks for. Only time will tell.


Robin Olsen


From: Roma

Fee: £3.15 million

Grade: C


There's not a lot to say about this one. Olsen knows the club from his time on loan with Villa last season and put in a half decent display at the Etihad at the end of the season. Decent cover for Emi Martinez, but there's a good chance we don't see more than a couple of appearances from the Swedish international.


Ludwig Augustinsson


From: Sevilla

Fee: Season Long Loan (450k fee)

Grade: C-


A bit like his fellow countrymen, Augustinsson is  nothing more than cover for an established starter in Lucas Digne. Although we are likely to see more of Augustinsson than Olsen, it's unlikely the left-back will have too much of an impact this season. Beginning the season with an injury while Digne is out of form isn't the best start either.


Leander Dendoncker


From: Wolverhampton Wanderers

Fee: £13.5 million

Grade: B+ 


The first of two deadline day deals, Dendoncker has made the short trip from Molineux to Villa Park and brings with him a good amount of Premier League experience. The Belgian international also adds much needed height and can cover a number of positions in both midfield and defence. He may not be the flashiest of signings, but it appears to be a smart one.


Jan Bednarek


From: Southampton

Fee: Season Long Loan

Grade: C


The final signing for Villa comes in the form of a loan move for the long rumoured Jan Bednarek. A player Villa has been falsely linked with (thanks to some very funny pranksters) for many years, the deal actually became a reality in the late hours of yesterday evening. In truth, we all know he's only here to cover for the injured Diego Carlos and may not even get many starts. Having said that, Villa's leaky defence means that if Bednarek can string together a few decent performances, he is likely to play a lot of minutes this season. One can't help but wonder though, why were Southampton so happy to let him move to a Premier League rival?



Outgoings


Before we grade the window as a whole, let's take a look at all of the outgoings at Villa and grade them as a whole.


Carney Chukwuemeka - Chelsea, £16.2 million

Matt Targett - Newcastle United, £15.75 million

Trezeguet - Trabzonspor, £3.6 million

Anwar El Ghazi - PSV Eindhoven, £2.25 million

Lovre Kalinic - Hadjuk Split, Free Transfer

Bertrand Traore - Basaksehir, Loan

Kortney Hause - Watford, Loan

Jaden Philogene - Cardiff City, Loan

Keinan Davis - Watford, Loan

Wesley - Levante, Loan

Tim Iroegbunam - Queens Park Rangers, Loan

Caleb Chukwuemeka - Crawley Town, Loan

Louie Barry - MK Dons, Loan

Finn Azaz - Plymouth Argyle, Loan

Kaine Kesler-Hayden - Huddersfield, Loan

Aaron Ramsey - Norwich, Loan

Tyreik Wright - Bradford, Loan

Benjamin Chrisene - Kilmarnock, Loan


Overall Grade: B-



Not a bad summer for outgoings, but arguably not a great one either. Keeping hold of Douglas Luiz on deadline day despite a handful of bids from Arsenal is enough to bump this grade up to a B. Getting nearly £20 million out of Chelsea for Chukwuemeka (last time I have to type that hopefully) was also an amusing highlight.


Lots of youth players have got loan moves as well which is always good, however it's the players that are still here that is a bit of a concern. After sending Frédéric Guilbert to the reserves, Steven Gerrard now has the headache of what to do with a player who he mistreated and now looks to be staying. The exact same can be said about Morgan Sanson. With a bit of luck, this will be a conundrum for a different man entirely, but I digress.


Summary


Overall, there hasn't really been a disastrous signing, other than maybe Diego Carlos but that is neither the club nor the players fault. There's a bit of a worry about the wage bill and overall age of the squad after this window, and rightfully so.


Boubacar Kamara's arrival is enough on its own to make this at least an average window, but it feels as if it's the signings Villa didn't make that stops this from being a successful window rather than the ones they did make.


With the departures of El Ghazi (farewell sweet Prince), Bertrand and Trezeguet, this Villa side now relies solely on Leon Bailey and the fullbacks for a bit of width. Even though Gerrard prefers a stifling, narrow style of play, this severe lack of wide players doesn't leave a lot of wiggle room if any changes are made. A problem that would have been addressed if the Ismaïla Sarr deal had not fallen apart.

The midfield is also a concern as the team still lacks that proper ball-passing number 8 that fans have been clamouring for all summer. And with Douglas Luiz likely to still leave eventually, it feels like a position that should have been addressed long before now. 


It may sound a bit negative, but overall there wasn't too much to get excited about despite promises of a big summer. Not great, not terrible, just enough.


Grade: C


How would you grade Villa's transfer window? Make sure to let us know on twitter @AVFCFaithful_ or @MikeyGalaszia. 


Also, for more transfer talk and just a little bit of therapy during these tough times, make sure you are subscribed to our new podcast! There's a new episode coming from Dan & James (the awesome duo, not the awful winger) soon and you don't want to miss it. Find more information @AVFCFaithfulPod 



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