Report: Aston Villa winger Aleksandar Tonev allowed to find new club

Trinity Road Stand - Aston Villa

After spending last season on loan at Celtic, the Bulgaria international looks set to become part of Tim Sherwood's summer cull.

Aston Villa winger Aleksandar Tonev has been told he can look for a new club after failing to impress through the first fortnight of pre-season training, according to the Daily Mail.

Tonev, 25, joined Villa from Polish side Lech Poznan in June 2013 for around £2.5 million and went on to make eight starts and 12 substitute appearances during the 2012-13 campaign.

The Bulgaria international failed to record a goal or assist, however, as his disappointing performances soon saw him fall out of then-manager Paul Lambert’s plans, before joining Celtic last August on a season-long loan with a view to a permanent deal.

He did not fare much better north of the border, though, and featured just 13 times for the Scottish champions after becoming embroiled in a race row that led to a seven-match ban.

 2013-14 Premier League PositionTeamGoalsAssistsTotal Key PassesPassing AccuracyTotal CrossesCrossing AccuracyTotal DribblesDribble AccuracyAppearancesMins Played
Aleksandar Tonev MF Aston Villa 0 0 2 76% 31 6% 18 40% 17 596

Since returning to the Midlands after the Hoops decided against making his spell permanent, most Villa fans expected the 17-times capped midfielder to be sold at the start of the summer, along with fellow loanees Nicklas Helenius, Antonio Luna and Yacouba Sylla, but new manager Tim Sherwood instead made the surprise move of offering him a second chance.

Brought on the club’s pre-season training camp to Portugal, he featured as a half-time substitute in both games against Fulham and SC Braga but, having failed to make much of an impression, it seems Sherwood has now seen enough to decide that the struggling wide man has no place in his long-term plans.

Touted as an exciting talent upon joining Villa, Tonev was linked with a shock move to Serie A runners-up Roma earlier this summer [h/t] but, given his recent lack of form, those claims should be taken with a pinch salt.

A return to mainland Europe could well help revive his once-promising career but, regardless, it seems clear that his time in the Midlands is up at this point.

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