For whatever reason Paul Lambert doesn’t want to go after the £12 million rated 23-year-old, seemingly more content to work with the younger players who got Aston Villa out of that relegation dogfight last season.
It’s a fair enough reason to ignore the recent pleas of Belhanda that he wanted to join the club but several fans have questioned the decision.
“This screams lack of ambition to me. Lambert is willing to put all of his eggs in the young unknown basket,” one fan told the Birmingham Mail.
It’s a fair enough statement because the one thing Aston Villa don’t need or want is a repeat of what has just happened.
They cannot afford to go through another season unsure over whether they are going to be playing Premier League or Championship football because it brings everyone under pressure in a huge way.
The youngsters will definitely be better off for the experience but the club was crying out for the addition of slightly higher profile players to slot in alongside someone like Christian Benteke or Andreas Weimann.
“Sometimes you have to speculate to accumulate and if it is purely the price holding us off, then that is saddening,” added another fan.
Villa are working on a budget at the moment and the price, which is over the £10 million mark, is on the higher side of what they are probably looking to pay.
However, they are signing a player with top flight experience in French football and someone who has recently played in Europe which means he’ll bring a slightly higher than average game to the table.
It would be a poor and sad situation if Villa now see Belhanda go to a rival, within their bracket of teams in the Premier League.
Villa are a massive club in England so if the Moroccan now goes to a Premier League side smaller in terms of support base and history, there will be uproar from the fans, especially if he pushes on to have success with that club.
Lambert is perfectly right to suggest that the guys who saved the club last season deserve the chance to push them on another level.
However, it’s the fundamental and basic job of a manager to grab a player and tie him down, especially when he’s of the quality and profile the club wouldn’t normally be able to attract.
What do you think? Are you happy about the Belhanda snub?
image: © elnaimmi