A new year is upon us and the January transfer window is open. Clubs trying to survive relegation, pushing for European qualification or yearning to win trophies will be able to sign players again. That purchase, or even more, could make all the difference come May when everyone is enjoying the warm weather or not.

Jores Okore's highly successful return from a long-term ACL injury and the arrival of central-defender Philippe Senderos has seen Villa's defence looking stronger, both in quality and depth. But in the opposite end of the field Villa are in peril, scoring only 11 goals in 22 games, the lowest going all the way down to the eighth tier of English football. 

Only Hamburg (9), in the Bundesliga, have scored less in Europe's top five leagues.

Villa are the most boring team in the Premier league, according to this. 


Villa tried and failed to sign a variety of 'number 10s' including Gylfi Sigurosson, Dusan Tadic, Lewis Holtby and Sergio Canales due to a lack of funds or alternative purchases.

£10m is Villa's transfer budget, plus funds generated from player sales. Either 4-2-3-1 or 4-3-1-2 should be the formation for the remainder of the season.

5 players to consider

Mohamed Salah

The winger moved to Stamford Bridge in January for £11 million, but has only made 12 appearances for the West London club. The Egyptian has failed to make the starting XI for majority of this season after falling out of favour with the 'Special One' Jose Mourinho, playing a measly 32 minutes in the league this season. 

Chelsea feared Salah would be forced to return to his native Egypt to partake in military service, but was spared after a meeting with several high-power figures in the country including Prime Minister, Minister of Higher Education and Egyptian National Manager.

He signed for Chelsea after an impressive string of performances for FC Basel, including a goal in Basel's 2-1 victory over Stamford Bridge during the 2013-14 Champions League. The winger is known for his trickery, pace and eye for goal.

A loan move is the most likely result for a player whose talents have gone a miss whilst in London. Villa have been looking for a winger on both sides, since both Ashley Young and Stewart Downing left in 2011.

Ravel Morrison

The England Under-21 international is available for free this month after Sam Allardyce's patience finally snapped after a string of off-field incidents, including missing training, internal investigations and fines.

Morrison is a talented individual, but has had notorious problems with his disciplinary record alongside other things. He was sent on loan to the Championship to QPR then Cardiff over the last two seasons.

Described by Sir Alex Ferguson as the best young player he had ever seen on a training field at Manchester United, but Morrison is now willing to waive any compensation on the remaining six months of his contract at West Ham and accept a mere £15,000 a week. His talents are undoubted, but what atmosphere would he add to the Villa Park dressing room. 

A risk on Morrison is a no-brainer with Villa's lack of goals and impotence in the final third of the field. Villa have already been linked, via talksport.com/football/aston-villa-linked-wantaway-west-ham-star-150113132083

West Ham United v Southampton - Premier League

Bakary Sako

Currently plying his trade in the Championship with Villa's local rivals Wolverhampton Wanderers, the powerhouse forward, who can also operate on the wing. Wolves might be tempted to cash in on a player who will certainly leave for free when his contract expires this summer. The club don't look like achieving promotion this season, due to their inconsistency, so a fee of around £2.5m would be realistic.

The Malian international who has scored seven goals this season is seen as the ideal signing for Villa, after being linked with a move earlier this year. 

Interestingly, the club's top scorer demanded a move to Fulham in June 2013 and looked likely to move Nottingham Forest in October 2013, but on both occasions, Wolves wanted upwards of £4m for the former French Under-21 international.

Former Saint-Etienne player is too good for the Championship and will surely be playing in the Premier League in January or in the upcoming years. He would suit Villa's quick counter attacking football and would be available for a cut-price fee.

Zlatko Junuzović

Werder Bremen's Austrian international could be one of the bargains of the January transfer window with his contract set to expire in June 2015, allowing him to sign a pre-contractual agreement with foreign clubs.

Despite Bremen sitting in the Bundesliga relegation zone, the versatile 27 year-old winger has been the team's stand-out player scoring three goals and contributing seven assists, the joint-second highest throughout the league.

He has made 32 appearances for the Austrian national team, scoring four goals along the way.

Villa are in desperate need of a winger who can operate as a 'number 10', instead of the orthodox wingers. Junuzovic at a cut-price could be the answer.


Mark Uth

Former German Under-20 striker Uth is Heerenveen's leading goalscorer this season with 11 goals in 18 appearances and could be available for a cut-price fee as his contract expires in the summer. 

Once Lukas Podolski's understudy at Koln, he was prolific at youth level scoring 24 goals in 26 games, but not so at senior level, struggling to get first-team with the likes of Podolski and Alfred Finnbogason ahead of him in the pecking order.

The 23 year-old is the joint highest scorer in the Eredivisie with 11 goals and will surely be snapped up by the end of the month. The talented imposing  forward could be available for as little as £2.5m this month. Potential suitors will be attracted to his ability on and off the ball.

Alemannia Aachen v 1. FC Koeln - Friendly Match

Aston Villa need two more creative players to avoid relegation.