Who will be off?


What a week!

We are now down so it got me thinking about kind of shape we will take next year.

I’m thinking particularly about which players will leave this summer. I think there could be quite an exodus.

Most of the players I have on my list to go are foreign and many of them actually came in last summer.

The players I think will go are:

There will be some others that I am overlooking but I think it’s hard to see these players putting up with Championship football.

I will not begrudge Amavi a move. Being badly injured so early on was unlucky. Who knows what impact it has had on our season? From the glimpses we saw, he was one of our best players and is certainly too good for the Championship.

One of the first things Gueye said when he moved here was that it was important to be in the Premier League so he could eventually move on to a bigger club. If that still applies, as I expect it very much does, I cannot see him hanging around once we’ve been relegated. As one of our strongest performers, I am sure there will be plenty of options for him.

Gil has been messed around by the club for a couple of seasons now. He is clearly our most creative player yet has been used sparingly. He will have caught someone’s eye and again, as much as I would love him to stay, I can’t see him sticking around for the physical and brutal Championship.

Ayew gives everything in some performances. He is incredibly frustrating as sometimes it looks like he just doesn’t fancy it. I would describe him as a player who can be great but who certainly thinks he is better than he is. I cannot see his ego allowing him to stick with a relegated club. He’ll be off.

Veretout clearly has class. He is another of the players who will have come to Aston Villa to get some Premier League exposure. I really like the way he plays and I’m sure I’m not the only one. I think he would be great for us in the Championship, particularly with his dead ball skills, but I expect him to go.

Okore coming to Villa was a bit of a coup. He was so highly regarded and apparently Chelsea fancied him. Although he can be inconsistent, he is no doubt a quality player and I fully expect him to move on in the summer. Okore is nother player who has suffered with injury problems. Who knows what could have been?

Among others I think will go are Sánchez, Traoré and Sinclair.

It’s no coincidence that the players I am expecting to leave also happen to be our best ones. It’s a shame that we have not managed to shake the status of a feeder club. That is what we still are (and a lot worse besides).

We have to rebuild. Maybe we can do that with some of our home-grown players and young lads coming through the ranks. After this season, we’ll definitely need to dust ourselves down and start again.


  1. Who do you think will pay good money for these players given the season we’re having?
    I would be surprised if Villa will want to let them go at a significant loss, and only Okore might command a higher fee than we paid.
    I imagine Ayew might want to go, but clubs won’t pay more than we paid for him.
    Not sure of your thinking on this one.

  2. Poor article, Gueye one of our better performers!? You really think all of those players will get better moves? What has any of them shown to prove they are any better than the championship, aside from perhaps Ayew and Gil? And who would buy Amavi based on 10 or so games, injuries can have serious effects on players so it would be safe to believe that manager won’t touch him with a barge pole until he proves his fitness. Also think Okore owes us a season given we’ve stood by him throughout some bad injuries.

    I’d imagine Gil will go back to Spain, Ayew would be the only one I can see going to another premier league club, the rest don’t deserve to be anywhere near the countries elite

  3. If we can keep a few of these players I believe that a season in the Championship could really be of benefit – look at the Southampton players who went on to become 20 million pound + players (Schneiderlin, Lallana etc). Most of our Summer signings are not bad players at all, but we were expecting way too much for them to instantly gel and keep us up this season. Who stays and who leaves is likely to depend on whether or not these players have relegation-clauses in their contracts and based on the overall ineptitude of our board, it is easy to imagine that many don’t.

    Way I see it, only one player has really shown that he is far too good for the Championship, and that’s Ayew. His high wages and high value means he is likely to go. Having only joined in the Summer, he probably won’t feel the kind of loyalty it would take to keep him around. He does seem to have quite a big ego and it’s easy to imagine him thinking he is far too good for the drop. We would probably be able to make a fair profit on the 8 million we paid – though he would have to show more consistency in the remaining games for that to happen.

    Amavi – I think he is expected to be back in training in the Summer, and clubs wont want to take a risk before he’s proven he is over the injury. Therefore I expect he will still be around next season – at least until the January transfer window. Though I could see a club coming in with a loan offer, and if he is on very high wages, it is possible that arrangement would suit us too.

    Gueye – unlike Amavi and Ayew, has not done anywhere near enough to justify the 9 million pounds we paid for him; I know some are impressed by his defensive work, but he lacks any kind of attacking threat, and I really think he would struggle with the increased physicality of the Championship. He is more suited to the slower-paced leagues on the continent, and losing him would not be the end of the world. Possibly some promoted clubs would want to take him on though I can’t see the logic of selling him at a loss. Again, I could see him go on a season-long loan.

    Okore is still very young – a season in the Championship would likely significantly aid his development as a footballer, and, bearing in mind his injury record, I would be surprised if other Premiership clubs came in for him in the Summer. I hope that even the Villa board would realise what an asset he could be and aren’t stupid enough to sell him.

    Gil – I can see sticking around, and potentially setting the Championship alight; equally likely however is he is sold for a million to a Spanish club.

    Traore – I would like to think Garde, or whoever is in charge next season, would realise Traore is the kind of player that could absolutely tear up the Championship.

    Veretout has occasionally performed reasonably well, an in the Championship it’s conceivable he’d be outstanding, (though would need to coupled with the right midfield partner). I suspect he is young enough and hungry enough to want to prove a point, and also I believe his wages are not breaking the bank.

    Other senior players:

    Richards – a Brummie, and clearly cares about the club, though his high wages, England aspirations and the fact other clubs will want to sign him probably means he’ll be off. Based on his performances this season, that might not be such a bad thing.
    Hutton – who knows. Awful player in the Premiership, might be useful in the Championship. Possible a newly-promoted club would want him.
    Lescott – difficult to say. Another Brummie, might not have the legs for the Championship. Age a big factor – already nearly 34, can’t imagine him having the hunger to want to be back in the Premiership when he’s 36…

  4. More thoughts:

    Westwood – Championship is probably his level anyway. Personally I don’t think he has enough to his game to excel in the Championship either, especially when combined with other defensive-minded, sideways-passing midfielders like Sanchez and Gueye. Hopefully he will be sold for about 4-5 million, and we look to bring someone in with more strings to their bow. However, three successive managers have favoured him, so The Crab might still be around next season.

    Bacuna – another one who might benefit from dropping down a division. I would like to see him settle into a position, and he has the attributes to be very useful at Championship level. Also seems to be very grounded and probably willing to make a go of it next season.

    Clark – not as young as some people think, will turn 27 this year, and yet to fulfill his early promise, though there have been intermittent signs that he has the quality to be a good player in the Premiership. I suspect he will stick around and I would like to see him form a solid partnership with Okore next season.

    Sinclair – we know he is capable of being brilliant in the Championship (and the Premiership to be fair), but it is just not clicking for him. Will be one of the higher earners at the club and I would bet a few Premiership clubs will fancy him over the Summer. He needs a change of scenery and we will need the cash.

    Sanchez – capable player but, similar to Gueye, might not have what it takes in the Championship. In my opinion, far more technically adept than Gueye, but very prone to lapses in concentration makes risky decisions in dangerous areas. Probably more likely than Gueye to be around next season, though we probably will look to off load him.

    Agbonlahor – would be interesting to see him in the Championship. If he can produce any kind of form in the remaining months, expect to see him deployed next season – if not, a certainty to leave.

    Kozak – just read he is out until March with a new injury (not related to broken leg). Possibly most natural goal-scorer we have at the club. Like Agbonlahor, if he can do anything in next few months, he might be given another chance next season. Unlikely any clubs will be interested in taking him.

    Gestede – one player we can be reasonable sure will be around. Not an entirely convincing footballer, but scored 20 goals last season, and the manager will probably look to make him the focal point of our attack.

    Richarson – released. Surely. Please?

    Grealish – massive disappointment this season, he will see the drop as a good opportunity to prove his doubters wrong. Whether he can do that, I am not sure. Very unlikely to be coveted by other clubs.

    Cissokho – probably could do a steady job in the Championship. Still has a few years on his contract. Largely depends on Amavi situation.

    Guzan – very much out of favour at the minute. If Garde is still around, very difficult to see him staying. Some promoted clubs could be interested.


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