Tim Sherwood has undertaken a total overhaul of our squad this year.
He has brought in ten new players whilst bidding farewell to many others. The manager has this week admitted that the squad is bloated and that he is looking to offload some of the players.
In an article on SkySports this week, he named Senderos, Richardson and N’Zogbia as players who may be on their way out of Villa Park in addition to Bent, Weimann, Sylla, Stevens and Lowton, the other fringe players who have already left.
If they are to leave, how much will we miss them?
This would definitely be my least favourite of the moves away out of the three names mentioned above. N’Zogbia certainly splits opinion. On occasion, you cannot deny the Frenchman’s quality. He is quick and can often get round a player.
His main downfall is his decision making. Far too often, he gets round a player then think he can beat the rest of the team as well, only to be stopped short.
In addition, he can, regularly, prove anonymous in games. In a squad that now has Traore, Grealish, Gil and Sinclair, the flair winger/forward will be a difficult position to make his own. Add to that his age (he is ten years older than Grealish, for example) and his days at Aston Villa Football Club do looked numbered.
He had enough good days in a Villa shirt for me to be saddened by the prospect of his leaving but, in truth, his goals and assists were too few and he could too often be ineffective. If he were to leave I would wish him the best of luck. Despite his constant morose expression, I think he had an affection for Villa because, if for no other reason, we stuck by him while he was injured for an entire season.
When we signed Richardson on a free transfer before the start of last season, I was pleased with the business. For too long we had been gambling on unknown young players from the lower leagues to somehow make us a good team in the Premier League. Signing Richardson was a sensible decision: he is experienced in this league and brings some stability to the squad.
In the early weeks of last season, when he was playing in midfield, I really liked the look of him. He was energetic, got stuck in and was calm in possession. His performances were a factor in the club’s good start to the 2014-15 campaign. As often happens when a player enters the latter stages of his career, injuries started to plague Richardson and spells on the sidelines were inevitable.
Richardson’s stupid sending off early against West Bromwich Albion cost us the match. He also made a few errors while filling in at left back at the end of the season that contributed to a few goals against us. However, he put in a shift when we played at Wembley in the semi-final and final of the FA Cup.
Overall, he was a solid acquisition but, with players like Gueye, Westwood, Sanchez and Veretout ahead of him in the pecking order for central midfield places, he might be on his way. If so, good luck to him. He always put a shift in when he played – and we should be grateful for that.
There really is not much to say about Senderos. He played really well in the first few games of the season before getting injured, which meant he did not feature again. He is at the point in his career now when he just needs someone to pay him as he won’t get many games.
With Richards, Clark, Okore and Baker ahead of him in the pecking order, Senderos is unlikely to get much game time this season. If we could get any money for him that would be a bonus but, if not, it was fun while it lasted Philippe. He can live safe in the knowledge that, despite his reputation for it, he did not make a howler while at Villa.
It is never nice wanting players to leave but it is part and parcel of football. Squads can only be so big and sacrifices have to be made. I would not be surprised at all to see these three go before the window shuts – and perhaps a couple more to boot.