There is a real feel-good feeling around Aston Villa at the moment but there is one thing that is really annoying me. Plenty of opposition supporters and pundits can’t help but compare us to Fulham.
There is plenty of reasons as to why we are not Fulham and I am quietly confident we will survive relegation next season.
The one big comparison is the spending of the two clubs. Fulham spent £104.85 million last season on 9 players. Three of those came from the French league, one from Turkey and two each from the Premiership and the Championship. You could argue there are a fair few players that require settling down there.
Then we move on to their loan players. They bought in a further five players on loan. A total of 14 new arrivals to a newly promoted side is some turn around in playing staff.
On top of that, they lost Ryan Fredericks to West Ham on a free transfer. Although he wasn’t a favourite with the Villa faithful, he was a big player at Craven Cottage. Goalkeeper David Button and Stefan Johansen also made way throughout the season.
Villa has also spent big to date and I fully expect a few more incomings. £67.77 million has been spent so far by the Villa hierarchy on 6 new players. Three of those played in the Premiership and then one each from the Championship, Belgium and Holland.
We haven’t exactly been shy with allowing players to leave either, just like Fulham. 9 players left on free transfers including Tommy Elphick who know plays for Huddersfield and Ritchie De Laet at Royal Antwerp.
This is where the similarities end though. Let me explain.
Fulham bought in 14 new players and of those players, only 1 played at Fulham on loan the season before. Aleksander Mitrovic helped Fulham get promoted to the Premiership. That meant that a total of 13 new players had to settle and gel in a newly promoted side.
Of Villa’s 6 new acquisitions (so far), 3 of them played for Villa last season. Tyrone Mings, Anwar El Ghazi and Kortney Hause already have a good relationship with both the fans and their teammates. They know exactly what is required of manager Dean Smith.
You could also argue that Jota, who has moved across the City will also settle quickly as he has played under Smith at Brentford in the past. All of a sudden two completely new signings don’t seem to bad, do they?
You could even argue that Villa took a similar approach to our Midland rivals, Wolverhampton Wanderers. We utilised the loan market last season and have tried to keep the side that got us promoted together. Doesn’t exactly sound like we are doing a Fulham to me. Or am I missing something here?