Transfer Window Highlights Villa’s Failings as Club Tries to Save Itself

January Transfer Windows

In the past two seasons the January transfer window has told the story of Aston Villa. Last season, Remi Garde was haplessly left in no man’s land as his board pulled the rug from under his feet, not allowing the manager to get in a single of his own players. They essentially waved the white flag to relegation and Garde was left considering his exit strategy after being left with a squad of Tom Fox’s moneyball misfits.

This January window, with Aston Villa embarrassingly in the bottom half of the Championship, sees a Villa board and manager desperately scrambling to fix both past and present issues with eight incoming players and eight outgoing.

The telling statistic to prove Tony Xia’s ownership has so far been far from smooth is the fact they have already loaned out £22m worth of players from the £55m or so spent in the summer. In terms of rebuilding a team, it’s a crazy figure. One step forward, two steps back.

The situation has seemingly passed a few supporters by, as they’ve been increasingly seduced by Sky and the media building ‘Transfer Deadline Day’ into something akin to Christmas Day for football supporters. In the minds of some Villa fans, Villa owner with his eight signings is like Santa Claus.

There seems to be a goldfish memory when it comes to the five years of failed signings that have all come in professing to be excited about playing for a “massive club with great history”. Unfortunately, lot of players have made good money by then shrinking the size of the club and blemishing the once proud history.

Sensible Business

When you look at business under the new regime, to be fair, it has largely been done with logic and common sense. Forgetting about hindsight for a moment, the only questionable signings in MOMS’s book were those of Pierluigi Gollini and Aaron Tshibola for the fees paid, considering their lack of experience. Also the expense of Ross McCormack wasn’t the wisest of moves in the summer, that fee was a gamble hedged up against the financial rewards of promotion, although there were few who could complain about actually having him in the squad.

Now with the purchase of Scott Hogan for £9m plus £3m add-ons (depending on what report you believe) to directly replace McCormack, Villa have pretty much splashed out over £20m on that single striker position. Add to that what they paid for Jonathan Kodjia and you have a seriously expensive forward-line. It costs more money than what the club sold the proven Christian Benteke for.

A lot now rests on Scott Hogan’s shoulders and the big question is will him and Kodjia compliment each other and form a decent partnership?

Team Spirit

So far, Villa have just bought the best players for certain positions, but a genuine team of players they play well together has not been formed yet.

Expected to be the best buys of the transfer window are in the midfield – surely both Henri Lansbury and Conor Hourihane will improve things? Still, you have to consider the fact that Ashley Westwood was considered good enough for a Premier League move, yet they weren’t.

MOMS go into more detail discussing the transfers ins and outs in the latest podcast episode here. So rather than just repeating ourselves here, just press play to listen:

With such a massive turnaround this January window it’s hard to see a team suddenly forming that instantly gels and goes on the type of run that allows the club to break into the play-off spaces.

Transfers/loans In – Scored

Sam Johnstone (Manchester United) – 7/10

Henri Lansbury (Nottingham Forest) – 8/10

James Bree (Barnsley) – 8/10

Birkir Bjarnason (Basel) – 7/10

Conor Hourihane (Barnsley) – 9/10

Neil Taylor (Swansea) – 6/10

Jacob Bedeau (Bury) – 7/10

Scott Hogan (Brentford) – 8/10

Transfers/loans Out – Scored

Pierluigi Gollini (Atalanta) – 10/10

Rudy Gestede (Middlesbrough) – 8/10

Ashley Westwood (Burnley) – 10/10

Jordan Ayew (Swansea) £5m + player – 7/10

Aaron Tshibola (Nottingham Forest) – 8/10

Kevin Toner (Bradford) – 7/10

Aly Cissokho (Olympiakos) – 8/10

Ross McCormack (Nottingham Forest) – 8/10


Follow the My Old Man Said podcast on Twitter here @astonvillapod


  1. Xia’s done well. He’s done nothing but shell out since he bought AVFC.Time he got some reward.

  2. So now that Bruce has the players that he wanted, can we expect a win this weekend, if the pundits and bookies are to be believed we’re in for yet another defeat, be interesting to see if his rubbish team selection improves. We need Hogan to hit the ground running, considering the money we’ve spent another defeat will be unacceptable, sorry very little confidence in the manager.

  3. We are blessed to have Tony Xia, he has given two managers so far exactly what they asked for. Most importantly, he’s interested. That lad Damien from the Villa Blog got merked by him online earlier in the season, now he always takes a dig on twitter, pretty weak IMO

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