Amongst the labyrinth of FFP and the changing of hands in terms of ownership, you could be forgiven to forget that the transfer window closes earlier this year on 9th August.
For Aston Villa fans, this is often a quiet, uncomfortable time and the panic can set in with the lack of buys and quality. The media circus of Transfer Deadline Day lures in everyone one way or another.
However, it can’t be argued that our transfer business in recent years hasn’t been either progressive or forward thinking. Evidenced by relegation and two successive seasons in the Championship.
When Villa brought in Steve Round as Technical Director, it was seen as a positive move in regards to his background and experience at finding players. The idea was to provide an efficiency in how business is conducted to provide the quality without having to waste time in doing so.
Before that approach, a myriad of managers and figures came and went looking for the shortcut and magic formula all to no avail.
How Villa go forward under the stewardship of Nassef Sawiris and Wes Edens in the next fortnight and the current season will say a lot about their ambitions and a fresh and modern approach would be welcomed.
Morally, the Wolves approach was criticised by many and questions were raised by the likes of Dr Tony Xia but ultimately and honestly, they did nothing wrong and used a system that has been cleared and they’ve seen rapid success. The football was of a high standard and players have stayed following promotion but also have a higher sell on value as a result. They have subsequently added to their side with high profile players with quality and experience ahead of their Premier League campaign.
It’s been reported by Alan Nixon today that Villa is looking to a similar approach and figures such as Jorge Mendes to bring in high-class loan-to-buy options.
In bringing in Andre Moreira from Athletico Madrid, Villa can choose to buy the young goalkeeper if he shows the promise they believe in. If things don’t work out then ultimately they lose nothing as there is no lump sum fee.
Before any negativity and questioning sets in, we need a fresh approach to avoid situations that are becoming all too familiar at Villa Park.
Ross McCormack, Micah Richards, Joleon Lescott and many others have been brought in sometimes for huge fees and almost all on extremely high wages. Some players have been brought in and not used anywhere near the amount their wages justify. Henri Lansbury, Scott Hogan etc. Whether it be their quality, fitness or just the choice of the manager’s tactics, these players are still costing the club and collectively add to the financial situation day in day out.
The balance of youthful potential and experienced players need to be tailored carefully too. Too much experience leaves us with little to no sell on value too.
The NSWE consortium takeover thankfully means that Aston Villa can try to go about their daily business as required. The rapid takeover and lack of time left until the start of the season also mean decisions ultimately need to be made just as quickly. It also means a period of stability needs to be established after the chaos and lies of the last regime.
The ‘Mendes style’ approach is a risk in many ways but it also leaves us with little to lose financially in the long term. On the plus side, should promotion be achieved it would be a huge bonus and would put Villa in a massively favourable position financially.
Reports yesterday began to come out regarding both James Chester and Jack Grealish being kept at all costs. Time will tell whether this will be followed through but it at least tells other clubs that we won’t be bullied into a cheap sale as we feared after losing to Fulham in the playoff final.
Looking forward to the season, I am hoping that we will see fresh faces added to add quality and competition within the team as we are obviously weaker than last season and we narrowly missed out with figures such as John Terry and Robert Snodgrass.
I also hope that Bruce has the confidence to adapt the team and try new things with new players, otherwise a poor start and we could see someone else coming in and starting again.