According to reports in a few papers yesterday Steve Bruce is planning on getting rid of a few first team players in order to buy some new ones. They keep referring to the ‘financial fair play’ situation which both Keith Wyness and Tony Xia have said we are more than comfortable within our limits at the moment.
Its basic business, well football business. You sell players you are not using or cant find a place for in order to buy new additions.
The reports claim that he will look to offload four players. Central midfielder Henri Lansbury, striker Scott Hogan and youngsters Jack Grealish and James Bree.
I never understood the decision to buy Lansbury from Nottingham Forest for £3.06 million (all transfer figures are from Transfermarkt.co.uk). Even before Villa was relegated I used to watch the Championship with great interest and Lansbury was one player that used to shine – sometimes.
He was always hit a miss and many believe him to be a number 10 type player which I completely disagree with. He was more a deep-lying playmaker who liked to switch the ball long distances from deep to one of his forward wingers and then he would arrive late to pick up any scraps on the edge of the box. Since Bruce has been at Villa we haven’t played in a way that would suggest Lansbury could slot in and even since his arrival we haven’t done so.
It may just be a nothing story but I would understand if both parties agreed to go separate ways. Lansbury is approaching an age where he should be hitting his prime so he will want to be playing football and Villa should recoup most of what they paid for him.
I will admit that when we brought Hogan for £9.45million (plus add-ons) I didn’t know too much about him as a player or his style of play.
Going by how I have since seen how he likes/wants to play and how we play under Bruce, the decision to purchase the Republic of Ireland striker baffles me. It is like someone was having a game of Football Manager and had a transfer kitty so handpicked the players with the best stats from the season before.
Villa fans have been quite patient with the former Brentford striker but I think it is becoming clear that it isn’t going to work out for him at Villa. We should look to offload for as much as possible and replace him with a better option.
I feel sorry for Bree I have to admit. He hasn’t really had many chances since his £3.15 million move from Barnsley. Bruce may have had the future in mind but Bree doesn’t seem happy and that would suggest he was told something else.
I personally wouldn’t sell unless we need to with Bree. I would allow him a loan somewhere so he can play some football and re-find the love for the game. Talk to him and explain to him that you value him and his potential and don’t want to lose him. As long as he is on board we should find a suitor to take him on a temporary basis.
Grealish is a product of the Villa academy and the way manager Bruce spoke about building his side around the 22-year-old in the summer so I would be extremely surprised if he looked to offload him.
The various reports claim that the club feels they could demand a big amount of money for his talents but for us to regret it at a later date? Of course, we have young Calum O’Hare breaking through and Villa may feel they are unable to find space for both players but on a personal point of view, I would be sad to see him leave if he did.
Either way, players will need to be moved on – that’s football logic. All clubs move players on all the time. I just hope that should we offload anyone we are in a position to buy a better replacement.