Aston Villa legend Ian Taylor believes it’s a sign of the times that his former club can no longer compete for players like Jack Rodwell, following the midfielder’s £10 million move to Sunderland.
Villa’s funds are at a premium this summer, as want-away owner Randy Lerner struggles to find potential buyers, forcing manager Paul Lambert to look to low-cost, veteran additions to bolster a thin and inexperienced squad.
With Philippe Senderos and Joe Cole arriving on a pair of free transfers, and Kieran Richardson signed from Fulham for a nominal fee, Taylor says the club’s lack of interest in Rodwell shows just far they’ve fallen from prior seasons when the mantra was to spend big for a Champions League spot.
‘In years gone by, Villa would have been interested in the likes of Jack Rodwell. He’s a good player but, looking at him, he’s had a lot of injuries and Sunderland have taken a little bit of a gamble,’ he told Sky Sports News Radio.
‘That said, we’d have been in the market for that kind of player a few years back but unfortunately, at the moment, we’re just not.'
'It’s well documented that we can’t go out and spend big transfer fees on players at the moment. Obviously I know the club’s up for sale and, as an owner, you don’t really want to spend money on transfers and the like.'
‘However, at the same time, you need to understand that you need the fees to stay in the division so it’s a bit of a catch-22.’
Bidding to avoid a fourth consecutive relegation-threatened season, Villa’s current financial situation means it’s unlikely Lambert will have license to add much more quality to his side for the coming campaign, with fans growing more and more concerned about the recent plight of their club.