Will Libor Kozák be the only Villa deadline business?
The so far reported in’s and out’s of Villa’s deadline day dealings.
Libor Kozák – From Lazio
We knew there would be some Villa business done today, but a striker? An attacking-midfielder was the top of the shopping list, if Villa were to buy just one more player, so the Czech centre-forward’s name was a bit of a surprise. With the traditional centre-forward attributes of the 6 ft 3 player, it’ll be interesting to see how he features in Lambert’s plans.
Kozák doesn’t have the guile or skill set to replace either Gabby or Weimann in the wider forward roles in Lambert’s currently favoured 4-3-3. So where? Alongside Benteke in a front two? With wider midfielders to provide the deliveries? What about Helenius? Does Kozák coming in mean Lambert has one-eye on Benteke’s potential exit next year, if the Champion’s League clubs come knocking? The plot thickens.
Lets just hope he has a bit more to offer than the last Czech forward to grace Villa Park – Mr Baros.
Despite being in the shop window for several months now, eager buyers for Villa’s outcasts haven’t exactly been forthcoming.
Brett Holman had his contract terminating to help him flee, while Darren Bent obviously was more keener than the rest to be playing for a team by the time the season started, as he set off to Fulham in a decent loan move for Villa. What of the rest of the much mooted ‘Bomb Squad’.
Barry Bannan – Crystal Palace
Barry Bannan is off to join Ian Holloway at Crystal Palace after penning a three-year deal. For some Villa fans, it’ll be good to see him still have a crack at the Premiership, just out of the curiosity to see if he can make it. Will he be another Steven Davis? The Northern Irish midfielder was deemed too lightweight for Villa’s midfield by Martin O’Neill, but managed to carve out a decent career for himself at the likes of Rangers and Southampton, as well as internationally for North Ireland.
The tricky trio – due to their high wages
Stephen Ireland – Stoke
Aston Villa’s luckiest ever winner of the club’s Fan’s Player of the Season award (2012) Stephen Ireland has finalised a season-long loan to Stoke City. The big question is how much of his considerable wages would Stoke front up?
Stoke City have a track-record for paying high wages to attract players you’d never imagine would go there, so there’s a chance they’ll pay a high percentage of his wages, if they escape paying an initial fee.
When he goes, for most supporters, it’ll be like a curse lifting from the club.
Alan Hutton – ????
Speaking of curses. Will anybody come in for Hutton? Still an active Scottish international (he played well against England), he surely isn’t that bad.
Shay Given – Liverpool? Doesn’t look like it.
First, Shay Given was meant to be off to Doncaster Rovers and the latest rumour from the past few days has been his is Liverpool bound. Really? I thought he wanted first team football? Given will only be a number two at Liverpool. His wages are a serious hindrance when it comes to moving him onto a lesser team and it seems as of 8pm on deadline day Liverpool have said their loan deal for him is dead. Given has some work to do to play football again…
Follow MOMS on Twitter on @oldmansaid , where will cut through the rumour bull.