With the season now over it’s time to turn our attentions to the summer transfer window. It’s looking like a smaller rebuild this summer with the focus on quality over quantity.
With new additions – comes departures! I take a quick look at 5 players most likely to leave.
Starting with one of my favourite players over the last few seasons. Ahmed Elmohamady, a player bought for only £1 million and in my opinion one of the best value for money signings we have made in many years.
He never let us down and always gave his all. By all accounts, he’s also a top man to have around the place as well.
Playing 127 games and scoring 4 times, he will be missed.
Neil Taylor is another player in the Elmohamady mould, always gives his all and rarely causes a fuss, a real pro.
Playing 98 times over 5 seasons and helping the club to promotion in 2019 before being replaced by Matt Targett.
There have been suggestions that he could stay in a coaching capacity at some level within the club.
The unluckiest player of the last few seasons has to be Tom Heaton, signed as number one choice and started the season so well last year, only to be cruelly injured on New Year’s Day!
It’s weird how things work out, if it hadn’t been for that injury to Heaton then I doubt we would have Emi Martinez playing for us.
Tom now looks to be heading for the bench at Man Utd and I wish him well.
By all accounts, he’s a good pro and a well-liked player around the club.
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One player that left on loan last summer is Mbwana Samatta, it now looks like he has played his last game for us with his move to Fenerbahçe looking like it will be made permanent this summer.
Signed the January before as a replacement for the injured Wesley he never really settled but will always be remembered for that diving header against Manchester City in the League Cup Final.
We have moved up a level now and he is certainly not at the standard we will need to push on.
And finally, the enigma that is Ross Barkley, while only on-loan he is the biggest disappointment of the season for me, when he signed last summer it was seen as a real coup for the club, and Smith sold it to him as a chance to get his England career back up and running.
While we have seen glimpses of his undoubted talent he hasn’t been able to do it as regularly as we or he would have hoped. I know he’s had some stick on Twitter but I don’t bare him any ill-feeling at all, I hope he sorts himself out especially after the weekend reports that came out. Hopefully, he will get a move somewhere and get his form back.
The other two players with big question marks over their Villa futures are Björn Engels and Frédéric Guilbert.
Engles has only featured on the bench and looks set to be surplus to requirements, but I have read he wants to stay and fight for his place so it will be interesting to see what happens there.
As for Guilbert, his loan move to Strasbourg has seen him play only 13 times, and with Kaine Kesler’s reputation from the U23s only growing, again smith and Lange have a decision to make.
I suppose it depends on just how much business the club wants to do in the summer, especially with the forward, wide areas and midfield seem the main place we need strengthening. I could see them both leaving and maybe some young championship players signed to fill the void like Matty Cash and Ollie Watkins were last summer.
Whatever happens, it’s sure to be an exciting summer ahead.
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