One of the most humourous things about this summer transfer window is to see the headlines that bottom feeder clickbait websites like ‘The Football Insider’, ‘Ninety Minutes Online’, ‘HITC’ and ‘Football League World’ use to get punters to click on their stories.
Take the example of Gary Gardner’s transfer situation.
Considering Steve Bruce bought in seven new Villa midfielders in his two transfer windows as Villa boss, it was clear that Gary Gardner’s time at the club was running on borrowed time.
The midfielder perhaps only got his last three-and-a-half year contract signed in late 2016 down to a huge chunk of sentimentality and the desperate actions of a club clutching at trying to have some sense of continuity amidst the rapid turnover of managers.
If ever Gardner was going to make his mark, there was never a better time for him than in the feeble Villa midfield of the past two seasons.
He failed though to make any impact.
However, if he needs an agent to get him a decent deal away, he should sign up one of the online sub editors working hard to big him up (and get people to click articles about him).
Instead of going with the “Loan Interest for Gary Gardner” type of headline, which would arise minimal interest, check these out:
‘REVEALED: Aston Villa Goalscoring Midfielder Makes Up Mind to Leave’
The Football Insider
The Football Insider really went to town to get Villa fans to click on that article using the technicality of Gardner having scored once in his Villa career to get around any potential court case of misrepresentation or deception.
One swallow doesn’t make a summer and one goal doesn’t make a ‘goalscoring midfielder’.
Any fan with half a brain would have smelt a rat, because a Villa midfielder scoring a goal is a spectacle akin to seeing a shooting star in the night sky. That’s why Hourihane scoring a hat-trick was boarding on a heart-attack inducing event.
While The Football Insider is obviously trying to tempt in fans making out that some big deal player wants to leave Villa, most readers would have clicked that article wondering what passes as a Villa goalscoring midfielder nowadays!
‘Aston Villa Fans Favourite Decides he Wants to Leave Club’
Ninety Minutes Online
If you did a poll of the top 15 fan favourite players of the current Villa squad, Gary Gardner wouldn’t get into it.
So Gardner, while a nice enough lad, despite how Ninety Minutes Online bills him, isn’t a fan favourite in terms of his performances in a Villa shirt.
It’s the kind of headline that is probably used many times and is on a go-to list when that website needs traffic. They just have to replace the player’s name within the article.
Still, it could be worse, at least none of these online outlets went with the headline:
‘Aston Villa Legend Wants Out.’
On a more serious note, Gardner’s destiny was always going to go down to deadline day.
The 25-year-old perhaps isn’t enticing enough for a club to get in place early, while his wages no doubt mean he wouldn’t be able to command the same elsewhere.
At the moment, Barnsley seem to be in pole position for a loan, but will no doubt be haggling over the percentage of his wages they want to pay.
UPDATE: Gardner has gone on a season-long loan to Barnsley
Gardner is contracted to Villa until 2020. The club will do well to get rid of him permanently before then.
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