Paul Merson on why he was shocked Aston Villa allowed Andreas Weimann to join Derby County

Paul Merson admitted he was shocked by Aston Villa's decision to allow Andreas Weimann to join Derby County as he felt he had been one of the club's best players over the last couple of seasons.

Talking prior to the Derby County v Portsmouth game on Sky Sports, Paul Merson said he was surprised by Aston Villa's decision to sell Austria international Andreas Weimann to Derby County this summer. 

Merson, who was a co-presenter for Capital One cup clash between Derby and Portsmouth, said he had high hopes for the player and thought he had been one of Villa's top performers over the past few seasons. 

''I was shocked that he left Villa,'' said Merson on Sky Sports. ''For me, I thought he was one of Villa's best players over the past couple of seasons. 

''I thought he was really good for Aston Villa. I thought he was a good player, he worked hard and I was shocked when they got rid of him. He will be too good for the Championship'' 

Did Aston Villa make a mistake selling Weimann to Derby?

Weimann, who made the move from the West to the East Midlands in June, started his first competitive match for the Rams on Wednesday night but failed to give a good account of himself. 

The impressive attacker, who won plaudits for his performances in pre-season, started on the wing and failed to turn his endeavour into something more substantial as Pompey finished the game with their name in the hat for the next round.

The 23-year-old is bound to have better days in a Derby shirt and has the attributes to be one of the club's more influential players during their promotion push this season.

However, it's fair to say his career at Villa had stagnated following the managerial change which left him out of favour. 

Time will tell whether Villa have made a mistake allowing Weimann to leave in the long-term, however, short-term, it's a move that could potentially suit all parties. 

Register for ASTON VILLA team updates

Register for HITC Sport - Daily Dispatch