Aston Villa manager odds: Dean Smith on the brink after Southampton defeat

Smith is under pressure to deliver results following an underwhelming start that has left Villa just three points off the relegation zone.

After a run of five consecutive defeats - and 13 goals conceded - Dean Smith is now favourite to be the next Premier League manager to leave his post.

Smith - a boyhood supporter of the Midlands club - has been in charge of Villa since 2018, enjoying progression in each season.

When he took over, Villa were languishing mid-table in the Championship but Smith guided the club to 10 consecutive wins before earning promotion via the play-offs.

In 2019/20, Villa escaped relegation on the final day of the campaign. Last season, they finished 11th with 55 points to their name - the most by a side to not finish in the top half of the Premier League table.

However, it has come at a cost. With more than £300million spent during his time as Villa boss, owners Nassef Sawiris and Wes Edens expect improvements from last season.

Sporting director and transfer instigator Johan Lange alongside Smith signed Danny Ings, Leon Bailey and Emi Buendia during the summer transfer window to replace Jack Grealish.

While they are impressive transfers on paper, Bailey has struggled to remain fit, Buendia has often been played out of position and Ings appears to have upset the balance of the team.

Villa sit 15th with 10 points from 11 games. What's more, following their latest defeat to Southampton, it is believed the board will review the manager's position.

Planet Sport takes a look at who could replace Smith in the Villa hotseat if they do pull the trigger on one of their own.

Paulo Fonseca

Paulo Fonseca, May 5, 2021

The man who seems to have been linked with every job in England. First he was favourite to become Tottenham's new manager in the summer, then Newcastle United and now he's reportedly on Villa's radar.

According to the Daily Mail, Villa are ready to turn to Fonseca and informal contact has been made with the representatives of the ex-Roma coach. The 48-year-old was linked with Villa before Smith took over in October 2018.

John Terry

John Terry

It seems the most obvious replacement on paper. Terry spent the last season of playing career at Villa before moving into a coaching role under Smith in 2018.

The former England defender left before the start of the season after admitting he wanted to focus on becoming a manager himself.

Villa improved dramatically last season when it came to defensive responsibilities, keeping 15 clean sheets in the Premier League. Terry is highly respected at the club by players, staff and the owners. Don't rule him out.

Steven Gerrard

Steven Gerrard Rangers Sept21

Chris Sutton has said Gerrard "would quit" Rangers for Villa if he is offered the post. The Liverpool legend has built solid foundations with the Glasgow side since taking over in 2018 and ended Celtic's nine-year dominance last season by winning the Scottish Premiership.

Gers are already in a great position to retain their title and Gerrard may consider it a smarter move to continue his education at Rangers before turning his attentions to Liverpool.

Graham Potter

Graham Potter committed to Brighton and has not considered Tottenham speculation

This coach has not been short of plaudits for the job he is doing at Brighton Hove & Albion.

That is despite Brighton having only won nine games in both the 2019/20 and 2020/21 seasons, the same number as both their top-flight seasons under Chris Hughton.

Tipped as a future England manager, Potter would be interested in the Villa position, especially as he hails from Solihull.

Villa have an exciting youth academy alongside plenty of attacking options - it could be a match made in heaven.

Frank Lampard

Frank Lampard Chelsea manager Jan21

Lampard appears to be in no rush to get back into soccer. He was sacked by Chelsea last season after a poor run of results in January but he did steer them into the top four the previous season - a campaign which saw him unable to sign players due to a transfer ban.

However, he was unable to deliver following a £200million investment by Roman Abramovic and then saw Thomas Tuchel mould the same squad into European champions.

Villa could be an interesting proposition for Lampard who is holding out for another crack at the Premier League.

READ MORE: Bookies move Robert Lewandowski ahead of Lionel Messi in the race for the Ballon d'Or

Latest Soccer Videos