Nottingham Forest’s main man, a brilliant Barnsley brace and an unexpected Viking has seen what in Championship terms is a very good week for in a January transfer window. Most impressive is that the activity has largely been funded by the £6m departure of Rudy Gestede, a bit part player in Villa’s season so far.
In terms of other ‘outs’, Pierluigi Gollini, one of Roberto Di Matteo’s main mistakes, has also been shipped out and deadwood Aly Cissokho too.
For the rest of the window, whether or not anybody will join the three in the picture above could determine any additional incoming players.
The Villa owners latest percentage Tweet of:
Suggests they’ll be hopefully one incoming player from three potential targets and also another incoming one, if two possible players leave, whether on loan or permanently.
While there’s no firm evidence to speculate on any on the 50% incomings, the outgoing candidates maybe a little easier to have at least an educated guesses at.
Aston Villa signing Icelandic international Birkir Bjarnason is the club firing a serious warning shot in Ayew’s direction. While Tony Xia made a big point of publicly announcing they were keeping him in the summer, with the player on half his pervious wages and not being able to get in the Villa team before four new players arrived, his Villa future is bleak.
Bruce like sections of the Villa support do see a player with potential, but also one that doesn’t seem to be a team player and that possesses a questionable attitude. The manner in which he sulks and drags himself over in slow motion to take corners was mentioned in MOMS meeting the Villa boss and other supporters.
Bruce did express a wish to play two up top in the Championship, but is it likely to be Kodjia and Ayew? I doubt it. You would have to say a fit and focused Ross McCormack would be a better foil for Kodjia.
If McCormack is to ship out, surely it would be only on a loan basis? The hefty price tag that Villa paid, means Tony Xia would have to take a major loss on the player in any outright sale. Factor in that Villa would probably be unwilling to sell to any play-off seeking team and the expected lack of interest from any Premier League clubs means it’s a tricky situation.
If he sorts himself out, he’d still potentially have a role to play, if Bruce can’t land another decent striker before the window closes.
Despite showing fleeting promise here and there, the player who was meant to be part of the new Villa spine in the summer, hasn’t really impressed his latest manager or the club.
A few promising neat touches might impress some supporters, but his overall contribution to the team has been massively lacking. It seems he’s already missed out on his chance and would potentially be moved on before Ashley Westwood ever would.
I get the feeling that if Steve Bruce was Villa boss in the summer, Jedinak wouldn’t be a Villa player now. Although saying that, there were few complaints by MOMS or Villa supporters when he arrived. He was seen as something as a missing link in the midfield.
After watching him in a few games it was obvious why Palace had sold him. He seemed shot through and not the midfield enforcer his reputation led fans to believe they were getting.
The most popular fan’s preferred line-up at the moment is a midfield featuring – Jedinak, Lansbury and Hourihane – but if Bruce insists on playing 4-4-2, as he hinted at to MOMS, he’ll certainly feel that Birkir Bjarnason’s defensive qualities added to Lansbury and Hourihane’s energy and midfield presence, will allow him to play two centre midfielders to free up an extra striker.
So, in short, if Bruce goes 4-4-2, Jedinak is the fall guy.
Westwood is still rated in the corridors of Bodymoor Heath and there’s the feeling that he could still be potentially one of the best midfielders in the division with the right teammates. Considering the experience he has, if he can get his confidence back and play with more forward intent, there maybe a role for him yet.
The fact that Steve Bruce made him his first signing so to speak, by giving him a new three-year contract, either tells you all you need to know or complicates the issue! A squad player?
Push sentiment aside, filter out the hype, he’s dispensable. Grealish turns 22 this year, the age that Gary Shaw’s career was over in earnest due to a knee injury (he was never the same afterwards). By that time, he’d won the league, the European Cup and the Super Cup. He scored 18 goals in the title winning season as a teenager. Hype that!
The singing of Birkir Bjarnason certainly puts pressure on him and if Bruce does play two up top, then suddenly it’s hard to see Grealish featuring as a regular starter.
There is a role for him for sure, but he needs to step up, because hype isn’t a currency that Bruce trades in.
it would be interesting to see if the James Bree signing was a straight-up signal to Hutton that his time is over. Would Hutton settle for a number two spot?
If Richards was half the player we thought he was meant to be, you’d hang onto him above Hutton, as he offers more versatility in defence. Bruce seems to be willing to give him a chance, especially because he is one of Villa’s biggest earners.
With his wages in mind, could Richards get a better deal elsewhere? Would he simply stay because of the financial factor. No doubt he’d want out in playing terms, but his stock has fallen considerably.
Follow MOMS on Twitter for informed and smart opinion during the transfer window – @oldmansaid