Wesley needs time… and a goal

By Graham Hill

RECORD signing Wesley may not be having an immediate impact for Villa – but is he a victim of the club failing to capture a second signing before the transfer window shut?

Despite Villa’s unprecedented transfer market spree this summer, the feeling was that Dean Smith probably wanted to get a couple more faces though the door.

In the week leading up to deadline day, Smith hinted at this publicly without giving away any names.

It has since emerged that Villa were trying to do deals right up until the window closed.

Yet nothing more happened on that Thursday before the season started and Wesley is starting to look a little isolated.

Smith is well stocked in defence and midfield, but a forward line that was dominated by Tammy Abraham last season – albeit in the Championship – seems light despite the big presence of £22million Brazil forward Wesley.

He certainly presents a threat up front but looks like he will need time to adapt after playing in Belgium for Bruges.

Apart from Jonathan Kodjia and Keinan Davis, Smith does not have the option of playing a strike partner alongside Wesley. The formula does match the one that brought success to Villa last season, but this is a a different landscape and could be asking a lot of Wesley at the moment.

But this is a squad where goals can come from anywhere and so far it is two midfielders who have found the net for Villa in a mixed start to life back in the Premier League.

Smith is encouraged by the start Wesley has made to life in the English top flight.

But there is little time for him to bed in as Villa need to get points on the board or face a season playing catch-up.

The Villa boss told reporters after the Bournemouth game “Wesley did okay on Saturday. He had a couple of chances, the keeper’s made a save, one’s got deflected.

“He was a presence up front and ran down the sides as well at the end of the first half and again in the second.

“He’s starting to get up to speed with the Premier League and it’s going to take time for the few of them. I’ve been pleased with his performances so far and he just needs a goal now.

“Cutting out the mistakes is the major thing. There were a couple of loose touches. I look at their victory and it’s probably come off their mistakes.

“The game was littered with mistakes from both teams and they capitalised on ours.

“I don’t think the speed of the Premier League has caught us out. We’ve adapted well to it and have had a tough start. I thought losing on Saturday was very harsh on us but it happens.

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