John McGinn

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Danny Drinkwater joins Aston Villa on loan

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Chelsea midfielder Danny Drinkwater, desperate for playing time, has joined Aston Villa on loan for the remainder of the season.

The former Leicester City title winner joined Chelsea in the summer of 2017 but has made just five Premier League starts for the Blues.

Drinkwater had joined Burnley on loan this past summer but made just two appearances for the Clarets across all competitions, with the team conceding five goals to Man City and Sunderland while he was on the field. He also struggled through a two month injury spell after hurting his ankle in a nightclub fight.

“Danny was a key member of Leicester City’s title winning team and has represented England so he is a vastly experienced player,” said Aston Villa manager Dean Smith in the official team release. “He will strengthen our squad significantly.”

The 29-year-old is a boost for Aston Villa with key squad member John McGinn sidelined for three months with an ankle fracture. In his absence, Villa has rotated Henri Lansbury, Connor Hourihane, and Marvelous Nakamba as compliments to regular starter Douglas Luiz.

Premier League January transfer needs

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The January transfer window is now open in the Premier League and there are already plenty of managers talking about doing business this month.

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Who needs what?

We break that down below and assess the top transfer needs for each PL club between now and when the window shuts on Jan. 31 at 6 p.m. ET.


Arsenal
Center back, central midfielder: Linked to Jerome Boateng already, the Gunners are on the hunt for a new central defender after Calum Chambers ruptured his ACL. Any international caliber defenders Mikel Arteta can get his hands on will surely be snapped up. If Granit Xhaka leaves they could also add another central midfielders.
Possibility they will add players: 90 percent


Aston Villa
Goalkeeper, striker, center back: They may well be the busiest team in January, just like in the summer, as two huge injuries to Tom Heaton and Wesley have hit Villa hard. Dean Smith would have been looking to add defensive reinforcements anyway and Villa will need to do well, probably in the loan market, to cope with their lengthy injury list and stay up. They’ve added Danny Drinkwater on loan and that is a good start with John McGinn also out injured.
Possibility they will add players: 100 percent


Bournemouth
Central defender, striker: With so many injuries, Eddie Howe‘s hand may be forced into buying new defenders. It will also be a necessity as Bournemouth are in the bottom three and struggling to score goals. Nathan Ake could depart which would be another massive blow. All in all, Bournemouth probably need a few new faces to give them a little more squad depth as they battle against the drop. Ryan Fraser‘s contract runs out in the summer, so maybe Bournemouth will cash in?
Possibility they will add players
: 70 percent


Brighton and Hove Albion
Striker: The Seagulls probably don’t need to buy in January. They’ve been really good so far this season, with Trossard and Maupay making a big difference since their summer arrival. Aaron Connolly has been like a new signing after his emergence from the academy, but maybe they will try to bring in an experienced forward as they don’t score enough goals given the chances they create.
Possibility they will add players
: 20 percent


Burnley
Central midfielder: Having let Danny Drinkwater go back to Chelsea after his loan spell ended, you have to think Sean Dyche has something else lined up for Burnley’s midfield. Defensively they’ve been fine and going forward Wood, Barnes and Rodriguez have enough goals in them, but in midfield they’ve struggled to control games this season. 
Possibility they will add players
: 30 percent


Chelsea
Center back, striker, winger: It is safe to say Chelsea will be busy as they aim to keep their top four hopes going and recover from a summer transfer ban as all of that money is burning a hole in Frank Lamprd’s pocket. They’ve been linked with so many players but their biggest need is in defense as Ake could return. Timo Werner, Jadon Sancho and Wilfried Zaha all seem more likely to arrive in the summer, but with Pedro on his way out and Willian not signing a new deal, maybe now is the right time for Zaha to arrive?
Possibility they will add players: 90 percent


Crystal Palace
Striker, winger, defenders: Basically, Palace need to add an extra player in each area of the pitch. Roy Hodgson has already said that and he hopes the owners back him. It all depends on whether Zaha is allowed to leave in January as to how busy the Eagles are. Adding one more striker to help Ayew manage the load seems the biggest need, as some of their defensive injuries will start to clear up. Could Batshuayi head back to Palace on loan? The Eagles always seem keen to add players later in the month and hang on for a good deal. They can afford to do that again as they are well clear of the drop zone, for now.
Possibility they will add players
: 60 percent


Everton
Central midfield, full back: A bit of extra cover in midfield and wide area will be key for Carlo Ancelotti and previously getting a central striker in would have been their biggest need. But with Dominic Calvert-Lewin doing the business, there’s no need for that right now. Adding Rabiot in midfield would be great business. 
Possibility they will add players
: 50 percent


Leicester City
None: Another forward option in case Vardy is fatigued would be smart but Perez and Iheanacho have stepped up superbly recently. No need for the Foxes to buy.
Possibility they will add players
: 5 percent


Liverpool
Winger: And they’ve already done their business. Takumi Minamino has arrived from RB Salzburg in a bargain deal and that should be Liverpool wrapped up for the window. If they suffer any more defensive injuries then Jurgen Klopp could jump into the market but they seem all set.
Possibility they will add (more) players: 5 percent


Manchester City
Center back: Their biggest need for about 12 months and City haven’t done anything about it. Seems crazy given their status as one of the richest teams on the planet. Nathan Ake would be a good buy, so too would Caglar Soyuncu or Jonny Evans but all three would be tough deals to do in January. Pep is unlikely to do business in the January window unless a wonderful deal presents itself.
Possibility they will add players: 25 percent


Manchester United
Central midfield: As injuries pile up in central midfield Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has admitted that is where he is looking. Gedson Fernandes has been linked and United need an attacking playmaker who can control the tempo of the game better. That has been their biggest need all season, especially with Pogba’s injury problems. With Harry Maguire now out injured too, maybe some extra cover in defense is needed.
Possibility they will add players: 50 percent


Newcastle United
Defenders, striker: Joelinton has scored once and Newcastle have a lot of defensive injuries to deal with. Steve Bruce‘s side are running out of steam after a fine start and the Magpies will try to kick things on by bringing in some new faces in January. Expect Bruce to convince a few of his ex players to join his project at St James’ but don’t expect anything too flashy from Newcastle.
Possibility they will add players: 60 percent.


Norwich City
Defenders, striker: Someone to help out Pukki would be great and so too would some upgrades at center back but Norwich are already in that situation where they may save their money instead of spending big, as they know relegation is likely. Sad but true as they could make a lot of money on Pukki, Buendia, Aarons and Cantwell in the summer. Norwich have been like with a loan move for Hertha Berlin’s attacker Duda. 
Possibility they will add players
: 20 percent


Sheffield United
None: They added Jack Rodwell as a free agent to provide some depth but apart from that they look set. They have options in every position and Chris Wilder has rotated the squad well this season. 
Possibility they will add (more) players
: 5 percent


Southampton
Full backs: Ralph Hasenhuttl has already said he wants to sign some new full backs. Cedric is out of contract this summer and Ryan Bertrand has been linked with a move away. Expect some young full backs to arrive who will ease themselves in and be starters next season. Kyle Walker-Peters and Joakim Maehle have been mentioned as potential new right backs, the former on loan.
Possibility they will add players: 60 percent.


Tottenham Hotspur
Defenders, striker: Harry Kane’s injury may force them into buying a new striker. Vertonghen may leave, while Aurier continues to be a problem at right back. Jose Mourinho is not happy with their defensive displays and Spurs need to add quality rather than quality in defense. Daniel Levy must loosen the purse strings if Spurs are to keep their top four hopes alive. Christian Eriksen could leave before his contract runs out, so maybe Spurs will look to sell him and bring in a new playmaker. Plenty of work to be done. Piatek could arrive to help with Kane’s absence.
Possibility they will add players: 70 percent.


Watford
Striker: Honestly, they are pretty set. Another striker to push Deeney and Gray hard would be nice but Nigel Pearson has inherited a decent squad and now has them well organized and hungry. The Hornets don’t need to spend despite being in a relegation scrap. They always seem to buy a young players from somewhere, or at least loan someone from the Pozzo owned clubs.  
Possibility they will add players
: 20 percent


West Ham United
Midfield, defenders: David Moyes has been linked with Gedson Fernandes and West Ham need a little something extra in midfield with Rice and Noble keeping things tight. That said, defensive improvements would be nice but Moyes has a lot of expensive new-ish signings to work with. West Ham will not want to spend much.
Possibility they will add players: 50 percent


Wolverhampton Wanderers
Defenders, striker: Raul Jimenez needs some help and Patrick Cutrone has done okay but hasn’t set the world alight. Getting in some decent young players should be the aim as Wolves’ relatively small squad has to cope with Europa League, FA Cup and the Premier League. If they get this right in January they could finish in the top four.
Possibility they will add players: 60 percent

Villa’s Wesley, Heaton ruled out for season

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Aston Villa have been dealt a huge blow in their battle against relegation.

Wesley and Tom Heaton have both been ruled out for the rest of the season after suffering knee ligament damage in their 2-1 win at Burnley on New Year’s Day.

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Both players were stretchered off in the second half as Villa’s big win at Turf Moor came at a huge cost as both will now be out for between six and nine months.

“They are two key players who I feel very sorry for,” Smith said. “We’ve had five games in 16 days and another seven to come in January. We can’t feel sorry for ourselves; we have to deal with it, help the players in their recovery and go and recruit wisely.”

Wesley scored his first Premier League goal in almost three months in the win at Burnley and he is the focal point of Villa’s attack, while Heaton is their starting goalkeeper. These injuries mean Villa will have to dip into the market in January to find replacements, probably on loan.

Both players arrived at Villa in the summer and have been influential so far with Heaton making several fine stops after starting 20 of Villa’s 21 PL games so far. Back up goalkeeper Jed Steer is currently out injured too with inexperienced duo Orjan Nyland and Lovre Kalinic waiting in the wings.

Wesley has started every PL game up top for Villa but has struggled to get going in the PL after the Brazilian striker arrived from Club Brugge as he’s scored five goals so far. It has been reported that Villa want to sign Michy Batshuayi on loan for the rest of the season to replace Wesley.

With star midfielder John McGinn out for three months due to a fractured ankle it has been a horrible festive period for Villa in terms of injuries as their relegation battle just got that much tougher.

Dean Smith will now be a very busy many in the January transfer window.

John McGinn suffers ankle fracture

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It has been revealed that Aston Villa’s star central midfielder John McGinn suffered a fractured ankle in their defeat against Southampton on Saturday.

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The Scottish midfielder came off early after injuring his ankle in the third minute as he appeared to catch his studs in the ground at Villa Park.

McGinn has been a key figure for Villa this season and his absence was certainly missed on Saturday as Villa lost 3-1 to their relegation rivals and slipped into the bottom three after a fourth-straight defeat in the Premier League.

He will likely be out for the next few months and that is a huge blow to a team scrapping for their lives in the PL who also have two massive League Cup semifinals coming up against Leicester City in January.

Jack Grealish may have the keys to Aston Villa’s attack but McGinn does pretty much everything else as he makes Villa tick.

Southampton hammer Aston Villa

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Southampton beat Aston Villa 3-1 at Villa Park on Saturday in a massive win in the relegation battle.

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Saints raced into a 3-0 lead at Villa with in-form Danny Ings scoring twice and Jack Stephens grabbing another, and although Jack Grealish scored a beauty late on it was too little, too late for Villa.

With the win Southampton jump out of the relegation zone and have 18 points for the season, while Villa slip into the bottom three after their fourth defeat in arow in the Premier League.


3 things we learned

1. McGinn’s injury hits Villa hard: It looked like a really nasty injury to John McGinn in just third third minute as he caught his left ankle in the turf and required lengthy treatment. The Scotsman has been influential for Villa this season and if he is set for a lengthy spell on the sidelines that is a big blow for the Midlands giants. Jack Grealish is rightly praised as Villa’s main man going forward but McGinn makes them tick.

2. Danny Ings is on fire: He has scored seven goals in his last seven Premier League games and is only the third Saints player to score 10 or more goals before Christmas in PL history. He is the main reason Saints are sitting out of the bottom three as the approach the midway point. The local lad is doing good, and Ings is so sharp and is finally benefitting from a stretch of not being injured. Right now he looks certain to get a call-up for the England national team in March and although Gareth Southgate isn’t short of options in attack, Ings’ pace and ability to be in the right place in the right time is Jamie Vardy-esque. Vardy probably isn’t going to come out of retirement for EURO 2020, so Ings would be a great option.

3. Dean Smith‘s honeymoon period over: He is a Villa fan and got them promoted back to the Premier League, so Dean Smith will always have the thanks of the Villa faithful. But his honeymoon period is definitely over. After a summer of big spending plenty was expected of this Villa team but they aren’t delivering on that promise. Calls from Villa fans for Smith to be fired have started and defensively they continue to leak goals, while Wesley just isn’t providing the attacking fulcrum they need.

Man of the Match: Danny Ings – Two goals and he continues his fine start to the season. A constant pest and he could have scored four or five on Saturday.


Villa lost John McGinn just three minutes into the game as he caught his studs in the turf and injured his left ankle as he spent plenty of time getting treatment.

The home side had the first big chance as Alex McCarthy denied Anwar El Ghazi, then Shane Long somehow headed over from two yards out as Ryan Bertrand flashed a ball across the box.

Southampton then took the lead as Long was played in over the top by Redmond and his shot was saved by Tom Heaton but Ings was on hand to tap home.

Saints were well on top by this point and Jack Stephens crossed for Long but he couldn’t finish and moments later Long’s header almost snuck in off Kortney Hause.

Frederic Guilbert had a shot on half time which Alex McCarthy pushed over as Villa tried to get going after a poor first half.

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Southampton grabbed a third at the start of the second half as Villa only half cleared and Ings pounced on some hesitancy to rifle home his second and Saints’ third of the game.

Ings almost got in again but Redmond overhit his pass and he then smashed a shot into the near post, as Villa left plenty of gaps as they piled forward in search of a way back into the game.

Grealish smashed home an unstoppable effort from distance to make it 3-1 with 15 minutes to go.

Saints should have wrapped up the win but Ings had a shot saved and Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg‘s follow-up was over the bar.

Grealish had a late effort from distance which McCarthy tipped over the bar as the home side finished well but the damage was done in the first half.