Early Doors

The dominos are really starting to fall now.

Villa close to Dunne deal
Villa clinch Warnock deal
Dunne will offer them experience in the heart of defence, something they've been missing since Martin Laursen retired.  Not the Dunne is the same player, but they can't rely on Davies and Cuellar all season... especially as Davies seems to have popped his shoulder out in today's Europa League qualifier.
Oh dear, Davies suddenly motions to the bench and sprints off, his right arm not moving by his side - the shoulder is out again. Shane Lowry comes on in his place.
Warnock gives MO'N even more options.  He's primarly a left back, but Villa already have Shorey and, sooner or later, Bouma there.  He can also play in midfield either on the left or center, providing cover for BFAY and eventually Downing.  For fantasy it will be most interesting if he starts as a central midfield attacker alongside a deeper-lying Petrov.  He may be a real value defender even at 8.56 if that turns out to be the case.  Villa are home to Fulham this weekend with both clubs having just played European ties.  It might be worth keeping your powder dry until after this match and next week's sure-to-be-contentious Birmingham derby.  But then Villa are home to Portsmouth and at Rovers.

Chimbonda joins Rovers
"The experience of the player, the adaptability of the player in a
number of positions and his past record means we will have a good
player on our hands and will not miss Warnock too much.

"We all know his favourite position is right-back. We are well covered there, but he can play centre-back and left-back.

Definitely a wait and see.  Chimbo can provide fantasy returns when he's in the mood, but I'm not sure where he will slot in to Rover's defence barring injury.  But, lucky for him Rover's backline are brittle as... well, something very brittle.  Nelsen came out at halftime last weekend, so maybe Givet slides in to the center and Chimbo plays on the left.  That will cut into Givet's fantasy appeal, but at his price that may not be a problem for fantasy managers.  Givet seems like a reasonably do-no-harm defender and please, please, please let that not come back to haunt/jinx/curse me!  Regardless, at 8.16 and with Rover's terrible defensive record, you probably aren't considering Chimbo.

Pompey swoop for Smith

Portsmouth have signed Watford striker Tommy Smith on a four-year contract, for an undisclosed fee...

"He can play as a centre-forward, behind the centre-forward or out wide, so covers a lot of positions. He's going to be a great asset to us."

Smith netted 17 times for Watford in the Championship last season and has two goals in the current campaign.

This either speaks to Pompey's lack of money or ambition... or perhaps both.  I'm sure he'll be a good signing for them but at this point they are just making up the numbers.  And speaking of turmoil at Portsmouth...

Distin agrees Toffees deal

Everton have agreed a deal to sign defender Sylvain Distin from Portsmouth, and the player is set to have a medical with the Goodison Park club...

Toffees boss David Moyes is armed with funds after selling Joleon Lescott to Manchester City for £22million, and Distin will be effectively a like-for-like replacement.

A good signing for Everton but another real blow to Pompey who will in the very short-term have to try to keep the likes of Tevez, K2 and Robinho off the score-sheet at the weekend.

Stoke clinch Huth signing

Stoke have completed the signing of Robert Huth from Middlesbrough.

The 25-year-old defender finalised personal terms after undergoing a medical on Wednesday, and he could be followed to the Britannia Stadium by Boro striker Tuncay Sanli.

The Turkish striker was in talks with the Potteries club's hierarchy on Wednesday, with Stoke expected to pay around £11million for the pair.

The domino here is Sonko leaving.  The wildcard is Tuncay who showed flashes of real talent alongside a generous work effort.  It will be interesting to see how Pulis chooses to use him - up front off a target striker (Fuller/Beattie) or wide, which would threaten Etherington or Lawrences regular spot.  I guess he could also play in midfield, say in Glenn Whelan's role.  That is, if you can spot him amongst the trees.

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