Since MOMS published an article on the possibilities of a Bomb Squad Mark II shaping up a couple of weeks ago, the past week saw the exodus of a few players we had tipped to be leaving before the transfer window slammed shut.
What is noticeable is that Aston Villa are being forced to cut their losses, with the three players moved on this past week costing close to £15m in transfer fees to buy in the first place, all leaving with nothing coming the club’s way…for now anyway.
Jores Okore leaving the club is the potentially the most interesting of the three most recent Villa players to depart. Great things were expected of the Danish centre-back with his pace and power, but being injury-prone and having the tendency to switch off hasn’t helped him.
— F.C. København (@FCKobenhavn) 27 August 2016
If you judged him on the day he joined the club, you’d say he was potentially the best centre-back at the club this season, so the fact that Robert Di Matteo and Tony Xia have let him go on a free transfer to Danish champions FC Copenhagen is interesting, considering he’d probably still hold the value of the £4 million Villa initially paid for him.
The deal has been reported that Villa will receive 50% of any sell-on fee FC Copenhagen will receive for the player. Which is an uncertain way to do business. With potential regular Champions League football and domestic trophies in the offering, he may not be in too much of a rush to leave, if that ends up being his level.
It seems Villa truly didn’t fancy him, maybe his own goal against Luton was the last straw for Tony Xia, who is already proving himself one for the knee-jerk reaction?
Speaking of which, Joe Bennett leaving (again) on a free transfer to Cardiff City also sparked up a bit of Twitter afters involving Tony Xia.
Can you get anymore disrespectful tweeting about a players career like somebody has the last week
— Joe Bennett (@JoeBennett27) August 26, 2016
Bennett obviously wasn’t happy originally after having his move to Sheffield Wednesday halted by Xia, after the Villa owner declared it a ‘silly deal’. It’s unclear how a move to Cardiff City is any better for Villa, but improved performances by Aly Cissokho have perhaps lessened the question marks about shipping out Bennett.
Lets just hope Jordan Amavi doesn’t become Bennett mk II – i.e. ok going forward, but can’t defend.
A massive disappoint considering the transfer fee paid to bring him in (circa £7m-8m) and the hype surrounding him. The player was quickly dismissed by Tim Sherwood and Kevin McDonald as being unsuitable for the Premier League and he didn’t look cut out for the Championship either.
It certainly looks like the French midfielder never settled in England, as a recent video of Villa players goofing around for a corporate video for a club sponsor showed, Veretout still doesn’t speak English despite being at Villa Park for a year.
There’s been several stories of Veretout missing medicals for potential French teams over the summer, but finally he turned up for one at St Etienne, where he will be on loan for the remainder of the season.
Certainly, it doesn’t look like there was any team out there willing to give a fraction of the money Villa spent on him for an outright sale. It’s very unlikely he’ll play for Villa again and he’ll need a decent season at St Etienne to help get any money back for him.
Transfer Deadline Day Outs
To lift any bad vibes away from the Villa dressing room, the trickier players to sell or loan out before transfer deadline day will be these three usual suspects…
Joleon Lescott – Update: free transfer to AEK Athens
Getting rid of Lescott is becoming a mini soap opera in it’s own right. He looked set for Rangers, but BBC Scotland reported he failed a medical, while Rangers said they failed to settle on personal terms. Meanwhile Tony Xia claimed Lescott didn’t want to move for family reasons (why entertain it in the first place then?).
Where the truth lies is probably a combination of the factors. But if Lescott didn’t want to uproot his family from the Manchester area, why are the proceeding transfer rumours centred around a fight between Greek side AEK Athens and Italian outfit Pescara for his services? With contract terms like the length of contract being the current battleground. Both would cause a serious uprooting of his family for a short-term period.
Knowing that Xia isn’t too much of a fan of Lescott, the centre-back may end up as a free agent, if the Villa owner terminates and pays out his contract.
Despite being in matchday squads this season and showing a willingness for the cause, it’s unlikely Micah Richards will remain a Villa player come the end of the transfer window. The former England international is widely reported in Turkey to be heading out there on a season’s loan to Trabzonspor. One fan is so keen for this to happen, he’s already made a video of Richard’s Villa highlights to welcome him.
Now, MOMS is actually getting a little curious to see where Mr Agbonlahor ends up come the close of the transfer window. This could be Tony Xia’s finest hour. We await with bated breath.
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