Who are the Top Trumps of the Aston Villa Midfielders?
Despite not bringing in the attacking midfielder the fans desperately craved, Villa are making progress in the midfield as they look to rebuild from the recent halcyon days of Milner, Barry, Petrov and Young.
While we are still waiting to see how the new boys adapt to life in the Premier League, the club is certainly not resting its hopes on one individual to carry the side from the middle. After the latest transfer window, Lambert now has plenty of options and alternatives should Plan A, B, C and so forth, not serve him well.
There’s been a lot of articles written on the frustrating enigma of Villa midfield (god knows with written a few ourselves). Here in a more fun approach, we assess our midfielders on their attributes, and discuss their potential for the season ahead. In true Top Trumps style, we’ve also used the launch of FIFA 14 as a second, more neutral opinion to rate the Villa boys in the middle of the park.
Bacuna’s versatility has already been noted on several occasions since he signed for the club this summer. It is finding his best position that could prove problematic. Views from Holland suggested that should he be utilised in his best role, a box-to-box midfielder, he could mature into a very successful Premier League player. However, should he continue to be used as a jack of all trades, his performances will be halted and stunted, leaving him to be solid, but perhaps not as effective as he could be. Early signs suggest that he won’t be trusted through the middle straight away, having even forced Lowton out of a spot at right back so far, but there’s certainly time for him to nail down a position in Lambert’s midfield three this year, especially if he’s a set piece specialist like his goal at City suggests!
Karim El Ahmadi
Many supporters suggested El Ahmadi would fade away after an uninspiring debut season in the Premier League. The former Feyenoord midfielder failed to shine in a young team that could have used his experience. However his early season form and resurgence in Villa’s midfield, beginning with an excellent performance at the Emirates on the opening day, promises big things this year. He is an older head compared to the rest, but fans need to still remember he is only entering his second season in this league. Could become a big player this year for Villa.
Despite Lambert cutting through Villa’s longest serving players with a knife, Albrighton has managed to keep his squad number, and his role at the club. The past two seasons have been a nightmare for a player who broke onto the scene with such promise. The academy graduate is an old school winger who became slightly too predictable and a frustration for fans at Villa Park. Plans to loan Albrighton have been shelved and it’s fair to say that he will be given one last chance this year to prove his fitness and his qualities, to a set of fans who are still willing him to become a Holte End hero.
Westwood is a player who grew in confidence and class perhaps ahead of schedule and expectations whilst wearing claret and blue. A sign of a good midfielder is when you expect quality so much, that you notice when he gives the ball away. With Villa’s no.15, last season he did this so rarely, that it was a surprise to see him misplace a pass. He was Mr Reliable for the Villains last year, but this season, increased competition may have lead to a slight drop in confidence. No longer the first midfielder on the team sheet, it’s hoped he was begin to build again on his promise of last season and shrug off the concerns of him being a lightweight presence in the Villa midfield. It wasn’t long ago that people were talking him up for an England call up. Click here to check out the other four Villa midfielders in Page Two