With Tony Xia’s purchase of Aston Villa Football Club expected to be ratified early this week, Villa fans can finally start to look forward to a new squad being pieced together following an inevitable clear out.
We have already read rumours of some players stating their desire to leave Aston Villa Football Club this summer. Gil and Veretout are just two of those players. I wouldn’t stand in the way of anyone wanting to leave Villa Park this summer. However, every single player who kicked a ball for Aston Villa last season is part of the reason the club is where it is. If those players do not feel a sense of responsibility and wish to put their failings right then they are not the sorts of players any fan wants at Aston Villa.
Saying that, there are some players I would be sad to see leave. Jordan Amavi looked like a real talent before his nasty, season-ending injury. If he had stayed fit all season, I am confident that we would have seen a few more decent deliveries from the left hand side. Idrissa Gana may leave even though he was one bright spark last season. The low release clause supposedly inserted into his contract by the shambolic Lerner administration may see his time in claret and blue come to an end.
The player I think the new manager should work hardest to keep is Jack Grealish. We saw, albeit briefly, under Sherwood how well the midfielder can play when he feels supported and is used in the correct way. Under Di Matteo, Grealish could shine in the Championship and continue his journey to becoming a local hero by helping Aston Villa, the club he joined as a boy and has supported since his youth, return to the Premier League. The talented youngster needs to show that he has the correct attitude and application. At the same time, he also deserves support from the coaching and management teams.
A few players I would point towards the door are the unimaginably poor Lescott and Richards, the disastrous Guzan and the trouble-making Agbonlahor. Agbonlahor, for me, has been a great servant but his time at the club has come full circle and it is better that he moves on now before his reputation worsens.
Ultimately, we will have to wait to see what unfolds in the next few weeks. I fully expect Di Matteo and Clarke to be very active in the transfer market, benefitting from a cash injection from the new owner and heading in a new direction.