Summer transfer rumours are now flooding social media sites and it seems that the latest man touted to be heading for the exit is midfielder Ashley Westwood. Dyche is reportedly ready to make a £6 million bid for Westwood which would see him return to the Premier League for another season with the newly-promoted side.
Westwood has been at the club longer than most, first arriving in 2012 from Crewe Alexandra. Even after four years with Villa, I still can’t quite decide if I like him as a player. There were many times when he stood out as a good, young English talent in a quite poor Aston Villa side. He looked comfortable, not influential but not out of his depth necessarily in a Premier League side. He has never interested Hodgson though, and rightly so, as playing alongside players such as Fabian Delph reminded us that he was far from ready to make an appearance on the international stage.
Last season, much like those he was playing with, Westwoo looked passive and unimpressive. He did score two goals at home against Southampton in a 2-4 loss but, apart from that, his season was disappointing. If I were a Burnley fan, I would currently be scratching my head and wondering why Sean Dyche wants to bring Westwood back to the Premiership and, more importantly, why he wants to pay £6 million for the privilege. I’m sure I can speak for most Villa fans when I say, for that price, they are very welcome to take him.
That is why I believe that, if this deal goes through, our fans should be pleased and wish him well with his new club. Westwood has provided us with some good memories. His superb equalising goal at The Hawthorns stands out for me, and he will leave for approximately three times more than Paul Lambert paid for him. We should take our profits and look to invest in some fresh talent.
The deal may well not go through, as there is the small issue of wages, and much depends on what the player wants to do. I do not doubt that Westwood would make a good Championship player but, based on last season, I was happy when I heard of his proposed transfer and how much Dyche wanted to pay. I believe Di Matteo should take the money, buy another midfielder and work further on the much needed stripping of the squad. We will have to wait and see if Westwood will don a different claret and blue shirt in 2016-17.