Is this the end of the ‘Scott Hogan Touch Count Meter™’?
For people who are not aware of the phenomena, the meter would regularly count the amount of touches Hogan would have during a game (via Opta stats). It frequently produced astonishing results – rarely did he get too far into double figures, if he broke into them, at all.
That’s of course, when he actually played.
Hogan’s Villa Struggles
Hogan has failed to start a single league game this season, with his appearances were limited to an FA Cup appearance and six substitute showings in the league.
He’s started only 28 league games for Villa over a two year period (across three different seasons)
Hogan was one of Steve Bruce’s poor slate of January 2017 acquisitions, which were meant to be the backbone of the manager’s rebuilding of Villa.
The likes of Hogan, Henri Lansbury, Birkir Bjarnason, Neil Taylor and James Bree have all been bit-part players this season. While Jacob Bedeau (remember him?) has made zero impression.
4 of the 6 permanent players Steve Bruce bought in Jan 2017 window - Scott Hogan (0), James Bree (6), Henri Lansbury (0) & Birkir Bjarnason (11) have made a combined total of 17 league starts this season. Players bought with little notion of their potential roles😑 #avfc #swfc pic.twitter.com/jIWlXZ8epO— My Old Man Said (@oldmansaid) January 31, 2019
Hogan perhaps will be the poster boy of Steve Bruce’s failed squad rebuild, that was meant to lay the foundations of the team for the foreseeable future. Instead, it’s failure led to Villa’s short-termism of being reliant on loaning in players.
Hogan Blade Hope
Hogan was meant to be the fox-in-the-box type player that Villa desperately needed in their attacking arsenal. Villa though have only recently played in a way that could potentially create chances for such a striker and Hogan has had to watch Tammy Abraham reap the rewards instead.
Villa have tended to play with three up top under Smith, with two of them out wide, so there have been few opportunities for the ex-Brentford striker.
Chris Wilder’s Sheffield United meanwhile play more with a front two, so they’ll be the potential of Hogan to work in unison with Billy Sharp, who has scored 18 goals this season, second only to Villa’s Tammy Abraham.
Since Hogan is a loan, it’s a smart move on United’s part, with them looking to boost their squad strength in the hope of sustaining their promotion challenge.
From a Villa point of view, it’s a strange one considering they are on paper strengthening a promotion rival, who are already nine points ahead of them in the table.
More cynical fans will point to Hogan’s ineffectiveness in a Villa shirt and suggest he may blunt the Blade’s promotion efforts.
However, he wouldn’t be the first Villa cast-off that has recently thrived in the red and white stripes of United.
Blades fans will point to the success of ex-Villan Enda Stevens, as a perfect example of how there can be redemption at Bramall Lane. The left-side player, originally bought into Villa by Alex McLeish, has since been a competent performer for the Blades in the last couple of seasons now.
Villa’s motivation for loaning out Hogan though will ultimately be getting his wages off the books, as FFP still needs to be navigated. It will also, at the very least, cover the cost of some of the incoming players this window, that will hopefully give the Villa squad a better balance.
The fact that Hogan wouldn’t feature in the upcoming league game against Villa and any potential play-off game/s between the two teams, will make Villa sleep easier on the loan deal.
From the player’s point-of-view, it was a no-brainer and the fact that Chris Wilder has been courting Hogan over a couple of transfer windows now will make him feel welcome.
Ultimately, this is a loan move that should be a win-win for everyone concerned.
Transfer Deadline Competition
It’s time to get educated about the in’s and out’s of transfer deals and we have just the thing to help you learn the inside track of the ever evolving business of football transfers.
MOMS is giving away five copies of the recently released Done Deal by football lawyer and writer Daniel Geey, which gives you all the context and nuance of how modern football now works.
Simply email the answer to the following question to firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject ‘Done Deal’.
Who is Aston Villa’s all-time record signing?
MOMS Patrons will be automatically entered into the competition.