Date: 5th December 2018 at 4:00pm
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One of the big talking points among the Aston Villa faithful in summer was the lack of investment in a new centre back – the temporary departure of Tommy Elphick further confounding belief.

Things went from bad to worse when Steve Bruce started experimenting with Mile Jedinak at the heart of the defence, the Australian midfielder having a nightmare in his makeshift role and struggling to break into the team once Dean Smith took over.

One option which has been on the table for quite some time now is free agent James Collins, who has been training alongside the senior squad at the club’s Bodymoor Heath in a bid to try and earn himself a contract with Villa.

There is still no deal offered by the club but speaking about the veteran, Smith admitted that his future was still up in the air as he continues to put in the work on the training ground.

He told the Birmingham Mail: “He’s still training with us. He’s not had the match exposure that I would want.

“He’ll continue to train with us until I feel he’s up to the standard where we can make a decision one way or the other.”

With Smith seemingly in two minds, he should clear his thoughts and think whether taking a gamble before January – when he will have a whole host of fresh options to pick and choose from in the transfer window – is worth it.

The simple answer to that is no, it is not worth rolling the dice only to end up being stung, and really the club and player should cut their losses and let him move on.

There will be so many more talented players who fit Villa’s bill available in January and while it might well cost a pretty penny it will be worth it if only to avoid dodging the bullet that is Collins.