“Aston Villa knew they had an opportunity and they certainly took it”: If one could describe Aston Villa’s transfer activities, this would be it. North London clubs have not done well for the past two seasons and at that point you would replace one of them with Leicester City on the Big Six club list. Step into Aston Villa who wants to be the next club, the next Big Six.

Here is our analysis of Villa’s transfer activity.

Important inbound transfers at Aston Villa:

1. Emiliano Buendía

Aston Villa announced its intentions early on that transfer window when they stole Buendia from Arsenal’s clutches for £ 33million. It was the perfect transfer to announce that they shouldn’t be messed with. The Argentine midfielder had been linked with a move to major Premier League clubs for some time. Arsenal tried to sign him last January but failed and hoped it could be done this summer. Everything was prepared for the Gunners to bring their husband in until Aston Villa entered the picture. Buendia will play a pivotal role for Aston Villa in the years to come. He will be the captain to replace the creative void that Grealish has left.

Our rating – A +

2. Ashley Young

The former winger returned to England after serving Inter Milan in Italy and winning Serie A last season. It was another transfer that saw Aston Villa beating the competition. Young reportedly was on the verge of signing a deal with Watford before Aston Villa snooped in. Although he is no longer the player who paced up and down the mansion flanks as he once was, he will provide mansion with the much-needed experience player. Now, in the twilight of his career, Ashley Young may not kick the ball out of the park every week, but it could prove to be a valuable addition to the club.

Our rating – B +

3. Danny Ings

With Danny Ings this summer, there was a huge opportunity waiting to be seized and Aston Villa seized it. He had turned down a new contract offer from Southampton and had just entered the final year of his contract. He was available for a tee fee and has proven in the last two seasons that he has a lot under his belt and can score points in this league for fun. All the traditional Big Six clubs, except Manchester United, wanted to sign a striker this summer and why nobody took risks at Ings is a mystery to me. But their ignorance has proven fruitful for Aston Villa. They paid £ 25m to sign the player and just like in Southampton, he’s now scoring for fun in the villa colors.

Our rating – A +

4. Leon Bailey

How Aston Villa managed to land Leon Bailey is a mystery to me. Do not get me wrong. Aston Villa is a top club and has its own appeal. But in the summer, Leon Bailey looks like a player above his class. That didn’t deter them, and it paid off. The Bayer Leverkusen winger has joined the club and will now replace Grealish in Aston Villa’s flanks alongside Emi Buendia. If his debut game is a sign of the future, every chance this could be one of the new signings of the season.

Our rating – A.

5. Axel Tuanzebe

Aston Villa – Brentford – Premier League

While they spent all their money in the final third, Aston Villa also loaned Manchester United’s Axel Tuanzebe. The defender, who played a pivotal role in his promotion season, will again wear the Aston Villa colors and hopes to make an even bigger impact at the club. He will fight for a spot on the first team with Tyron Mings, Ezri Konsa and Kortney Home. He hopes the Villa Park experience will equip him better to fight for a first-team spot in the United colors next season. In Dean Smith he has a manager who rates him significantly higher and this transfer should only come out positively.

Our rating – B +

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