Paul Lambert acquired seven new players during the summer in order to add experience to his youthful set-up at Aston Villa, and while some players have flourished in England, there are others who have looked severely out of their depth.
The best signing of the summer was undoubtedly Leandro Bacuna. The right-sided utility man joined Villa from FC Groningen but, due to the poor form of full-back Matthew Lowton, was forced to play in a more defensive role—rather than his more familiar right midfield.
Regardless of where he has played, though, Bacuna has shone. The Dutchman has taken to the Premier League like a duck to water, performing his defensive duties in a manner nobody expected, and has helped out when going forward—even chipping in with a number of goals.
Likewise, on the other side of defence, Spanish full-back Antonio Luna has been a huge hit at Villa Park.
After scoring Villa's third against Arsenal on his debut, the defender has continued to perform to a high standard and is sure to be one of the first names on Lambert's teamsheet when fit.
Centre-half Jores Okore joined from Nordsjaelland and, with Champions League experience under his belt, was expected to follow in the footsteps of former Villa great and Danish defender Martin Laursen.
All seemed to be going well for the 21-year-old, who had earned a place alongside captain Ron Vlaar at centre-back, until an anterior cruciate ligament injury forced him onto the sidelines for the rest of the season.
Moving forward, Bulgarian winger Aleksandar Tonev—who was recommended to Lambert by Villa hero Stiliyan Petrov, as mentioned in this Daily Mail report by Paul Collins—has, so far, been a flop.
The 23-year-old, while showing glimpses of quality, has failed to set the Premier League alight and is often frustrating to watch. His “shoot on sight” attitude quite often has teammates and fans groaning in disappointment and annoyance.
Two other acquisitions Lambert made during the summer months were strikers Libor Kozak and Nicklas Helenius.
Czech striker Kozak took his time to adjust to the Premier League and is by no means the finished article, but he is starting to turn around the views of those who doubted his credentials—myself included.
After all, he is Villa's joint-top goalscorer in the league this season with four goals.
Denmark international Helenius has been, for lack of a better term, a disaster of a signing. The 6'5” striker has been given just 52 minutes of action this season and is a long way off what is required in the Premier League.