Aston Villa Transfer Rumours January 2014 – Defour, Hoolahan and co.
When it comes to transfer rumours, it’s normally the duty of MOMS Media Muppets to cover some of the rubbish that rears its head, but we thought we’d play the rumours listed below with a straight bat. After all, Lambert has admitted he’s hunting for an attacking midfielder (finally) and there should be at least a couple of signings (including loans) coming to Villa Park. Fingers-crossed, that whoever they are, they lift the spirits of the claret and blue faithful. UTV
Perhaps the most exciting rumour that’s sprung up in the first week of the January window is the prospect of Belgium international midfielder Steven Defour joining Aston Villa. Most English football fans would have been alerted to the talent of Defour a few years ago, when scanning through Football Manager stats searching for a decent cut-price midfielder. At that time, Defour was already fast becoming an ‘if only’ man, after a move from Genk to Ajax broke down, then when at his next club Standard Liege, interest from Manchester United cooled after the player’s bright progress was hampered by injury.
Since signing for Porto, despite winning the league a couple of times (not exactly difficult for the dominating Porto), Defour has been a bit player for his Portuguese club. Also, the blossoming of Belgium talent in the last couple of years has also seen him pushed further into the shadows. He’s unlikely to feature in the Belgian first XI.
There have been questions over Defour’s temperament and attitude, in failing to really live up to his hot prospect status as a playmaker, but with the World Cup in the offering, he will feel an onus to get his head down. That’s part of the reason his availability has become public, as he seeks first team football. Despite Defour’s agent acknowledging Villa interest, the player himself has indicated that the Bundesliga maybe more suitable for his talents.
MOMS has already published the photo of Lambert at a Porto game (December 11th, sitting alongside David Moyes), so 1+1 may equal 2 in the Defour equation.
The fact he hasn’t made a great impact at Porto raises questions marks, as well as the player’s self-awareness of the Germany league being a better fit. He may not be a one-stop solution for Villa’s midfield, but get a stronger defensive-minded enforcer in there with him and he’ll definitely be an upgrade on Westwood. The player’s age suggests a Villa move may be beneficial to the player. If he impressed for a couple of seasons in the Premiership, he’d still have chance to sign for a Champions League club. The chance to potentially link-up with Benteke maybe a trump card in enticing Defour.
As soon as any transfer window crops up on the horizon, the names Lescott and Defoe are linked with Villa. The reason they never sign? Well, for starters, their wages are way out of what Villa would ever entertain paying. Both players are past their best, so chucking any cash at them might not be the wisest move. Defoe is MLS bound, but Lescott has always caught Villa supporter’s imaginations because he is also a Villa fan.
You have to say, Lambert’s favoured centre-back pairing would be Okore and Vlaar, and the only interest Lambert would have in Lescott would be as loan cover for the rest of the season, if Manchester City heavily subsidised his wage
Apparently, the claret and blue of West Ham are in pole position in terms of getting Lescott on loan. Reportedly, it almost already happened, but Pellegrini pulled the plug on it, wanting to monitor City’s defensive injury situation over the next week or so. With West Ham down to the bare bones at centre-back and currently in the bottom three, you’d think they’d be more desperate to pay more of his wages than Villa would stump up. This is one that might go down to transfer deadline day.
While Villa are crying out for a bit of spark and dimension in wider areas, would Zaha hit the ground running? He hasn’t exactly made much impact in a United team crying out for inspiration. While Zaha is obviously tipped to be one for the future, he’d be in the position of being solely responsible for reviving Villa’s attacking play. Get decent midfielders in the centre of the park and he could be worth drafting in for the rest of the season, as apart from Marc Albrighton, we’re short on options.
Unless other parts of the Villa midfield is upgraded in the January window, he might be an ineffective loan. Also, Villa seem to be down the peaking order of clubs in the chase for him, with pundits suggesting Cardiff, Stoke and Newcastle lead the chase. While Lambert is pally with Moyes, the Baby Faced Assassin’s arrival at Cardiff may neutralise that factor.
The man most likely at the moment. At 31-years-old, Hoolahan would be something of a stop-gap in the often mooted ‘long-term’ project of Lambert, but a welcome addition in the short-term. Keen to move, Hoolahan has only played nine games for Norwich this season, so is reportedly very keen for a move to join up again with his ex-boss, Lambert. Used previously by Lambert at Norwich, behind the strikers and at the tip of a diamond, when Lambert played that formation, he’ll certainly fill the No. 10 role that Villa are lacking at the moment. Whether he’d transform the creative endeavour of the Villa team, especially at Villa Park, is open to question. You’d think in a decent team, Hoolahan would be a squad player, but sometimes a signing just clicks and punches above his supposed weight. The Irish international will certainly be keen to prove his worth as he comes into the autumn of his career.
If Hoolahan is the only midfielder Villa get in, then you seriously have to question Lambert’s ambition. He’s not exactly going to cost much though, projected to between £1.5 – 2 million. On the plus side, his signing will please the Irish Villans, but hardly get the majority of Villans too excited. He’ll improve the squad and add a bit more dimension in our play in home fixtures, but is he likely to make a dramatic impact? For a player who struggles to get into the current Norwich first XI, you wouldn’t expect so. However, with the addition of another midfielder alongside him, he’s nothing to grumble at. He’ll have the distinction of being Villa’s oldest player, and we’re a team that certainly could do with a bit more experience.
I think this is really one for the Media Muppets, filed under Talksport. In recent seasons Samaras hasn’t exactly been prolific in front of goal for Celtic, bar some decent displays in European games. I’m not going to linger too long on this one…
Loan replacement for Kozák? Even that would be a waste of time. Lambert might as well put his faith in Helenius. Lets forget about this rumour asap.