Former Premier League forward Dean Ashton has claimed that Aston Villa should have added a centre-back to their ranks in an interview with Express Sport.

Ashton, who was capped by England in 2008, praised Villa’s latest recruit Tammy Abraham but was puzzled by Steve Bruce’s inability to bolster the club’s backline with a new central defender.

Speaking about the arrival of Abraham, Ashton hailed the 20-year-old as a ‘good signing’ but questioned the need for another striker and suggested that a defensive reinforcement should have been prioritised:

“I think he (Abraham) is a good signing. He showed during his time with Bristol City how good he can be at this level. He had a difficult season in the Premier League last year and found out just how tough that is.

“My only worry is, though, are scoring goals for Aston Villa really an issue? When it comes to that, they’re fine. Jonathan Kodjia is playing well and they’ve brought Yannick Bolasie in.

“But they have no cover at centre-back. I think they’ve lost every game with Mile Jedinak playing there. That doesn’t bode well. They’ve also loaned Tommy Elphick to Hull, so it surprises me that they’ve signed two attacking players, Abraham and Bolasie.”

Steve Bruce’s side travel to Blackburn Rovers today, looking to produce a response after being humbled by Sheffield United on their last outing. Loan recruits Yannick Bolasie and Tammy Abraham are both available and could feature at Ewood Park. 

Four points separate the two sides ahead of the televised fixture, but Rovers sit just one place behind Villa in 13th.