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Aston Villa transfers: Five for Remi Garde to sign in January

Holly Thackeray | November 3, 2015

Five potential Remi Garde relegation escape recruits

As freshly appointed Aston Villa boss Remi Guarde will have noted, while watching the Villans (7/4 with Coral to stay up) leak three strikes to Spurs, the Midlands club require reinforcements if they are to cling on to their Premier League status.

Former Lyon gaffer Garde of course has French connections, but who could the coach realistically sign to boost his chances of keeping Villa (9/5 to finish bottom) in the top-tier?

Serge Gnabry (Arsenal/West Bromwich Albion)

Britain Soccer Premier League
The Arsenal academy graduate is still just 20, but is struggling to get regular game time under Tony Pulis while on loan at West Bromwich Albion. As Aston Villa have lost summer signing Adama Traore to injury, there is certainly a temporary opening for an exuberant and wily wideman at Villa Park.

Typically, having also received part of his footballing education in Germany, the young winger possesses both technical skill in abundance, but also grit and directness. So much so, that Mikel Arteta once likened guileful Gnabry to being “like a little boxer, he’s a little fighter.” Garde could surely make use of that.

Clement Grenier (Lyon)

Soccer - Ligue 1 - Lyon v Bastia - Stade de Gerland
Should Garde wish to add a little more experience in the attacking midfield department, with Jack Grealish failing to assert himself as playmaker against Spurs, the gaffer may turn to his home nation and former club in Lyon.

Raiding the Kids for the likes of Alexandre Lacazette would be a mere pipe dream, but one realistic pick could be five-capped French international Grenier. Villa require a player able to feed starved-of-service striker Rudy Gestede and unlock stubborn defences, and the 24-year-old playmaker, brought through the ranks under Garde, just might fit the bill.

Adrien Rabiot (PSG)

Soccer - Ligue 1 - PSG v Bordeaux - Parc des Princes
Long-linked to Premier League clubs and touted as a real midfield prodigy, Rabiot recently penned a new contract with the Parisians but has seen little reward in way of minutes on the pitch.

A loan move could be a real coup, for a composed all-rounder who could contribute to both Villa’s defence and attack. Rabiot needs to prove his hype on the pitch, and Villa Park would be a prime opportunity. After all, the French maestro is no stranger to England, having previously spent time with Manchester City.

Benik Afobe (Wolverhampton Wanderers)

Soccer - Sky Bet Championship - Wolverhampton Wanderers v Huddersfield Town - Molineux
This time we put forward an ex-Arsenal academy product. One potent prong of Wolves’ excellent attacking triumvirate from last term, Afobe almost helped the Midlands men to promotion, striking 13 times after only arriving in January.

The exciting Englishman resisted a summer move, but Wanderers are now floundering midtable with Afobe still one of their best performers and a consistent scorer. So, perhaps the 22-year-old would seek another winter move. Gabriel Agbonlahor’s speed still keeps him in the side, but Afobe would make an able replacement.

Charlie Austin (QPR)

Soccer - Sky Bet Championship - Queens Park Rangers v Blackburn Rovers - Loftus Road
Yes, of course Austin has to be one of the options. Villa desperately need goals, goal, goals, with Gestede and co looking rather toothless up top. Perhaps the Birmingham-based club should have plumped for poacher Austin in the summer instead, a player who deserves to be back in the top-flight, but it’s not too late.

If Villa want to stay in the Premier League too, quality has to be drafted in and a potent dangerman must be top of the list. QPR would be loathe to lose their lethal striker with their promotion push fading, but every player has a price, and Austin’s strike rate would truly be invaluable. He could be this season’s Christian Benteke.

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