The appointment of a new manager at a club can often be a blessing for players.
For those who have been left frustrated on the fringes, playing in an unfamiliar role or disillusioned with the previous manager’s vision, it is a great sight to see a new boss arrive.
However, it can spell the beginning of the end for many. Not only can their progress at a club come to a grinding halt, their careers can be derailed.
With the club currently languishing in mid-table obscurity, Smith is looking to ring the changes and these three players face uncertain futures…
Smith has expressed a desire to add a new goalkeeping coach to his backroom staff, sparking rumours that current stopper Orjan Nyland has been identified as a weak link. The Norwegian hasn’t convinced supporters since joining in the summer, making costly errors and failing to win the confidence of the club’s backline. The former Molde goalkeeper will need to improve considerably if he wants to feature in the new manager’s plans going forward.
The midfielder brought a four-and-a-half year spell with Nottingham Forest to an end in order to join Villa, but the move hasn’t worked out. Villa are far from short of options in central midfield and the vast array of midfielders in the squad have left Lansbury sidelined. The 28-year-old is undoubtedly a talented player, but may have to seek pastures new in order to find regular football. Smith would surely face a backlash if star midfielder John McGinn was dropped and he would have to shine in order to leapfrog Conor Hourihane, Birkir Bjarnason and Glenn Whelan in the pecking order. It very much seems like Lansbury is in last chance saloon as he fights for his Villa future.
The forward made his Villa debut as a 16-year-old but his progress has somewhat stalled at Villa Park. Now 20, he seems no closer to breaking through and will be alarmed by recent rumours linking the club with a move for Jamaican forward Alex Marshall. Tammy Abraham and Jonathan Kodjia are two of the division’s most dangerous frontmen and Scott Hogan worked with Dean Smith at Brentford, meaning that the England under-20 international may need to quit Villa to play first-team football.
Smith will face his first test as Villa manager on Saturday when the Villains host Swansea City.