Aston Villa have handled the James Collins situation absolutely perfectly, and they could be set to profit from their wisdom as the frantic Christmas period approaches.
The Express & Star reported earlier this week that the veteran defender would be handed a Villa contract once he has proved his fitness to manager Dean Smith.
The 35-year-old has been struggling with some niggling injuries that have delayed a deal between Villa and the former Wales international, but it does seem as if a reunion between the two parties is inevitable.
Bringing Collins in would be an extremely smart decision by Smith as he looks to guide his improving Villa team to promotion back to the Premier League.
The former Brentford boss has only Axel Tuanzebe and captain James Chester as available centre halves at this moment in time and so it is imperative that the club strengthens that position in January. Collins is the perfect man to help them do that, and his free signing could save the club millions.
Instead of Villa splashing the cash on a new centre half they can simply bring in someone who has been training with them since September anyway.
Chester and Tuanzebe would remain as the team’s first choice centre back duo, but Collins would provide an experienced back up for the club amid the hustle and bustle of life in the Championship.
His physical presence would be a huge help for Villa late in games when they’re trying to hold on, and generally, as well, against powerful second tier strikers like Chris Martin and Lewis Grabban.
It’s always good to have experienced players in your squad, especially in what is a rather youthful Villa set up. The club have missed John Terry’s leadership at the back this term, but Collins could provide some of what the former Chelsea did last term.
It’s sensible for Smith to wait for Collins’ injury problems to sort themselves out, but once he is a Villa player again his signing could prove to be a stroke of genius from the club.