“He is highly ambitious… He is one of the best young prospects in England.” – Robert Di Matteo on Aaron Tshibola
Last summer there was a lot of talk about building Aston Villa a new spine.
“I wanted to strengthen the spine of the team, make it as strong as possible, I am very pleased with the additions,” said former Villa boss Roberto Di Matteo, last summer.
He was referring to the signings of Gollini, Elphick, Tshibola, McCormack, Chester and then Jedinak. Only the last two names though are expected to be at Villa a year later, when the transfer window closes next month.
The fact Aaron Tshibola has been forced to join a League One team on a season-long loan deal, says it all. After the failed Ross McCormack transfer, his signing must rank as the second worst of last summer.
The loan at MK Dons will certainly provide a reality check and make the midfielder reflect on where he wants his career to go.
Di Matteo had touted him as “one of the best young prospects in England”. So far, his judgement has been proved to have been very wrong.
There were quickly question marks behind the scenes about Tshibola temperament and attitude at Villa. Yes, there were flashes of potential in the limited appearances (nine) he made in claret and blue, but he was ultimately a huge disappointment considering how the Villa midfield, especially in the first part of last season, was fair game for stamping your mark on it.
Tshibola has hindered by injury during the season, but the problem was, this was expected.
Villa knew he was injury-prone at his previous club, Reading, yet Roberto Di Matteo stubbornly went ahead with the reported £5m transfer. In the same way, the ex-Villa boss ignored earlier Villa scouting reports warning the club’s management not to buy Gollini.
Throw in the millions that look to be wasted on McCormack, in a further example of club’s overspending, and the Villa board will not be pleased with that summer of business, despite promising to right the wrongs of the previous regime.
Whether Tshibola plays again for Villa is in doubt, but lets hope that the summer of 2016 was when Villa finally learnt from their transfer mistakes.
This summer certainly has been a step in the right direction.
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