Lets ignore the woeful 3-0 defeat at Wigan for a second and catch-up on a few recent happenings connected to Aston Villa…
Busy, Busy, Busy
Considering all the talk about FFP and Aston Villa, you’d expect a conservative approach to the rest of the January transfer window for Villa Head Coach, Dean Smith. After a poor start to 2019 though, including both a woeful FA Cup exit and getting battered 3-0 by Wigan (a team who had won only once in their previous 14 games), work needs to be done now to save the season.
When asked recently about how the transfer window was going, Smith made it sound there could be a few more faces coming in.
“There’s things going on at the moment,” Smith said earlier in the week. “Our sporting director is busy at work trying to bring people into the football club.
“We’ve got targets out there and that’ll continue until the end of the window.”
After not appearing in the match day team sheet for the Wigan game, the sudden appearance of Jonathan Kodjia at Birmingham Airport seemed a bit suspicious.
Some fans deadpanned on Twitter that he was off to France for a medical. Throw in the fact he had also recently scrubbed his Instagram account of not only any pictures (occasional Kodjia practice), but also any mention of Villa and the conspiracy theories whirled.
When you thought about it though, getting rid of Kodjia isn’t such a far-fetched notion. 30-year-old, this year, the player that is at the age where he’d want first team football and he’s also one of the rare Villa players that may still command a decent fee, that could be reinvested to rebuild (again).
The main factor that makes Kodjia going anywhere unlikely though, is the unlikeliness that any other club would match his current wage.
Would Kodjia accept less to play more?
Rushian Hepburn-Murphy has finally gone out on the first loan of his career while he’s been at Aston Villa. The Villa striker made his debut for Division Two Cambridge United in their 1-0 win away at bottom of the table, Notts County.
On loan until the end of the season, the young Villa striker, wearing the number nine shirt, started the game and was subbed on the 72 minute mark.
It could be a pivotal loan in terms of seeing where he pitches up next season. He’ll need to impress to have a chance of a proper future at Villa.
The player would have perhaps gone out on loan earlier if it wasn’t for his injuries in recent seasons. They’ve certainly curbed his progress since he made his first team debut for Villa aged just 16.
Former Villa centre-back James Collins reaped the rewards of being determined to carry on playing, after signing for Paul Lambert’s Ipswich Town until the end of the season.
Collins, inspired relegation-threatened Ipswich on his debut to a vital 1-0 home win over Rotherham, to cut the gap to safety to seven points.
Free Agent Collins had been training with Villa, but a shoulder injury hampered the potential of him signing for the club, a story that seemingly mirrored his attempt to get signed by Stoke City in the summer.
Struggling Ipswich had also previously shown an interest in the defender when he first finished with West Ham.
There’s apparently a new vacancy at Villa Park with Smith hinting they are looking to recruit somebody to look after and monitor players out on loan.
“We’ll always keep an eye on those who are out on loan,” said Smith, earlier in the week.
“At the moment we haven’t got a loans manager, but Richard O’Kelly and JT are currently splitting the loans and are keeping in touch with them on a regular basis.
“It’s [loan manager] something that we probably will do. We have ten to twelve players out on loan and it’s important that they’re feeling valued by the football club.
“It’s an important role and something that we’re looking at.”