So it’s deadline day, and as a follow-up to ‘Three Signings Aston Villa Need To Make In Three Days’ , we bring you ‘ Panic Buys Aston Villa Need To Sign Today’. The answer to Villa fans who don’t totally trust Lambert’s lower league signings and want instant gratification with household names.
1. Michael Owen
The worst thing about Michael Owen? He has fallen out of love with the game. He was happy to sit on the bench at United and his fitness is more than questionable. The best thing about Michael Owen? He’s fallen out of love with the game and is happy to sit at the bench. The questionable fitness is still a bad thing, but his new passion (his stables in Cheshire) means he doesn’t want to move down South. A transfer to Villa allows him to still live in Cheshire and travel (like Big Brad Friedel did) to training and matches. He knows he can’t get 90 minutes every week out of his body, but he also knows what an asset he is in the last 30 minute of games, and providing we could get his wages cut dramatically, he may well provide the goals that keep us away from the dreaded drop this year.
2. Joe Cole
According to reports, Joe Cole has “seven options” in terms of new clubs today. After what can be described as a successful loan spell at Lille (taking into consideration the couple of years before it), he was always going to be a man in demand. Let’s not forget he’s still only 30. A stay at Liverpool looked on the cards until Rodgers watched him tweak that ye ol’ hamstring in a Europa League tie, and that seemed to tell him all he needed to know. Regardless, he still has quality for all to see and will be available for loan if not for sale. West Ham are favourites and though he may favour a move back to his old club, he’d be wrong not to consider donning claret and blue in a new city.
3. Owen Hargreaves
A tad ambitious that he’ll stay fit by midnight, but if he can pass the medical, would there be any real harm in taking a punt?! He will bring much-needed experience to a very youthful looking Villa squad, even if the only chance to chat to them is in the physio’s office. Hargreaves let himself down last summer taking a stab at his previous employers Man United by signing for their arch rivals. Unfortunately at City, he wasn’t exactly top priority and probably wasn’t monitored and treated as he should have been. At his peak, he was one of the best holding midfielders in the world and Villa would be wise at least considering making a move today.
4. Nigel Reo-Coker
What if we want a holding midfielder with experience and bones made of bone, not glass (see Owen Hargreaves), then why not someone we can trust? NRC triggered a relegation release clause after just at year at Bolton, showing his intentions of staying in the Premier League. Fulham was meant to be his destination and there was a flirtation with a couple of clubs in Italy. Now he seems stuck in limbo. Again, he is a man with experience and obvious leadership abilities (he was given the armband at Wimbledon whilst still in his teens and handed it again at West Ham 6 months after signing). The potential problem with this signing though, was the fact he was poorly treated at Villa. Despite staying loyal and seeing out his contract, he was constantly overlooked, when he should have been playing more regularly. Last time round, he commanded an £8.5m fee, if Paul Lambert is convinced, this time he would cost us nothing.
5. John Carew
Ok… so now we are bordering on the extreme. Big John now has a very big ego to go with his giant frame, and is nowhere near the player he was in his first couple of seasons at Villa. That said, we are in need of a big man up top, Carroll has gone to the Hammers and the Benteke deal is up in the air. So repeat after me if you dare. ‘John Carew, Carew. He’s bigger than me and you…’
Update – 9/6/14: Two years after this was published, Joe Cole is Aston Villa bound. Reo Coker plies his trade in the MLS, while all the other potential panic buys have long retired.
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