Wednesday 29

Aston Villa

Villa keeping tabs on Baggies starlet

9th December 2019, 13:23 by Bobbie Jackson

Aston Villa have been keeping a close eye on Rayhaan Tulloch’s exploits at West Brom as they consider a January move.

Dean Smith was handed major financial backing by the board over the summer after securing Villa’s place in the Premier League.

Villa parted with £133.7million to bring in 11 players in the hope of staying well clear of a relegation battle.

The huge influx of players has made it difficult for Smith to land on his strongest XI and they sit just above the relegation zone on goal difference after 17 games.

They have struggled to find consistency and Sunday’s 4-1 defeat at home to Leicester leaves them with just one win in their last six league outings.

After making big moves in the summer transfer market, it’s unlikely Smith will be handed a sizeable transfer kitty for the January window.

Adding senior players would also likely make Smith’s life harder as he looks to keep his bulky squad happy.

With that in mind, the Villa chief is understood to be looking at bringing in a couple of youngsters to develop for the future.

Tulloch is one of those being watched closely after catching the eye with some impressive performances for West Brom’s under-23s.

The 18-year-old has been with the Baggies since the age of nine and he earned his senior debut in the FA Cup last season.

He is yet to get a chance in the Championship due to the wealth of attacking options available to boss Slaven Bilic.

Charlie Austin, Hal Robson-Kanu, Kenneth Zohore, Matheus Pereira, Grady Diangana and Matt Phillips have helped the Baggies to the top of the division after 20 games.

Tulloch, who can play as a centre forward or on either wing, isn’t likely to get a look in this season and reports claim he would be open to moving away.

The England under-18 ace has scored four goals in nine outings for the under-23s in 2019-20 and will be back on action on Monday against Manchester United.

Reports suggest Villa will have scouts in attendance for the Premier League 2 Division Two clash at Leigh Sports Village Stadium.

Villa may have to move quickly once the transfer window opens with Newcastle, Bournemouth and Southampton also interested.

Meanwhile, Leeds, Stoke, Wigan and Sunderland are reportedly keen to bring in the forward on-loan for the second half of the term.

This article originated on sportinastorm.com

Bobbie Jackson is a reporter with an in-depth knowledge of football at all levels. A Blackpool supporter, Bobbie is also a keen rugby union, boxing, MMA and UFC follower.

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