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Dean Smith still wants to boost squad before end of transfer window

Dean Smith still wants to boost squad before end of transfer window
© Reuters
Four new players have arrived at Villa Park this summer.

Aston Villa boss Dean Smith has revealed he is determined to further strengthen his squad before the transfer window closes next week.

Smith's buoyant side face Fulham on Monday on the back of seven games unbeaten and new boy Bertrand Traore is set to feature after his stunning debut goal against Bristol City in midweek.

But Smith is still not satisfied with the strength of his squad and is looking to add to his numbers following the departure of Mbwana Samatta to Fenerbahce.

Smith said: "We're always looking in the market, we're probably one short in the squad at the moment so we'll keep looking at that.

"I think there's seven days left until the window shuts internationally, another seven days domestically.

"Our sporting director at the moment has got his finger on the pulse, hopefully we might get one more in and maybe a couple more out."

Bristol City v Aston Villa – Carabao Cup – Third Round – Ashton Gate
Bertrand Traore made a big impression against Bristol City (Peter Cziborra/PA)

Despite Traore's immediate influence, Smith is keen to strengthen in the final third while a further option in midfield would not go amiss.

Smith added: "There's a number of positions, and obviously with [Samatta] going out, you look at the forward line, but also midfield as well.

"We'll see if there's one who can fit both for us."

West Ham United v Aston Villa – Premier League – London Stadium
Aston Villa boss Dean Smith is looking to strengthen his squad (Matt Dunham/PA)

Defender Bjorn Engels is back training for Villa following an Achilles injury but is not expected to feature against the Cottagers, while forward Wesley and goalkeeper Tom Heaton (both knee) both remain sidelined.

Smith revealed that defender Ezri Konsa will be available despite appearing to pick up a minor injury in Monday night's 1-0 win over Sheffield United.

"The only ones who won't be available are Bjorn Engels, Tom Heaton and Wesley," added Smith.

"Ezri Konsa, everyone told me he had a bit of a hamstring strain at half-time (on Monday) – it wasn't, it was a strain in his glutes – and he is back training."

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