After the loan signing of Andre Moreira last week, eyebrows were raised when Villa, then went in and bought another keeper, the Norwegian goalkeeper Orjan Nyland. Bought in from German side Ingolstadt for around £1m, it certainly raised a few questions in terms of who was going to be Villa’s number one for the season.
As anyone would have seen from the new Aston Villa squad numbers, Villa kicked off the season in the strange position of literally not having a number one, with the number ‘1’ shirt left vacant.
MOMS had suggested that Villa would arrange a behind-doors-friendly in the final week, before the opening match at Hull to help Moreira get up to speed. They did, with Moreira playing in a 0-0 draw with Stoke City. Yet, the loan capture from Athetico Madrid wasn’t in the match day squad for the trip to Hull, so it seemed he clearly wasn’t ready to be Villa’s starting keeper.
Then in came Nyland, with the 27-year-old signing a three-year deal with Villa. A transfer no doubt sped up with the Norwegian having the same agent, Jim Solbakken, as Villa midfielder Birkir Bjarnason. From all the information MOMS has viewed on Nyland (having never seen him play), including observations by Norwegian Villans, there’s a wide range of opinion on the keeper.
Splits opinion among Norwegian football fans. One of the bigger goalkeeping talents we’ve had over here, but hasn’t played as regularly in Germany as everyone had hoped. In my opinion: Untapped potential, while others will say potential’s already been tapped.
— #12Andy (@EisernNorvillan) August 7, 2018
The Blues were in for him earlier in the window, but more encouraging is several bigger English clubs have shown interest in recent years. Still, it would be a surprise to see Nyland walk straight in and start in the weekend’s clash against Wigan, so for now, Jed Steer will probably get to start. Nyland has probably been penciled in for the Yeovil cup game to get his first taste of Villa.
Jed Steer after an injury-plagued time at Villa, was thought to have pole position to the number one jersey, mainly due to the lack of any other real options.
Steer impressed in cup games last season and pulled off a decent save at a critical time against Hull City in this season’s opener, but his mental lapse against Dynamo Dresden was a concern.
If Steer is staying on at Villa, despite his need for regular football to kick-start his career, then the loan signing of Moreira seems a little odd, unless Villa are partly using it to take a proper look to possibly buy him in the future?
Aston Villa own young goalkeeper Matija Sarkic seemingly hasn’t convinced the managerial staff at Villa at the moment, although the 21-year-old will get a chance to build his experience on a loan to League One side Charlton Athletic, which should be confirmed soon.
Despite being on the bench against Hull City, Mark Bunn will no doubt now look to move on. His contract was due to run out in June of this year, but he seems to have stuck around (seemingly on a rolling contract?), due to the transfer embargo Villa were under when their financial situation was uncertain.
With three potential contenders for the mantle of Villa’s number one, it’ll be interesting to see how the competition pans out. Certainly, as the promotion race hots up, Villa will need to bed their main man down before – to quote Steve Bruce – the daffodils arrive in the spring. UTV