Did West Brom sucker punch Villa with the sale of the summer?

Aston Villa fans were delighted when they prised away one of West Brom's most senior players. But the joy is no longer...

When Aston Villa signed Joleon Lescott on Deadline Day, there was optimism that Tim Sherwood had brought one of the Premier League's most experienced defenders to Villa Park. The centre-back, too, is a Villa fan - that always helps.

The 33-year-old also came from West Brom - an even bigger caveat.

Two months on, however, and the delight that greeted Lescott's move to Aston Villa has, if not disappeared, at least faded heavily.

The reason why needs little description. The defender has been poor for Sherwood's side and fans have grown extremely frustrated that their manager hasn't recognised the need to drop the experienced centre-back in favour of the more reliable Ciaran Clark.

West Brom supporters, meanwhile, have been pleased with their new defender's form, with Jonny Evans having replaced Lescott at the Hawthorns.

A move that looked so promising for Villa fans, then, is now leaving them in plenty of doubt.

Supporters took it as a source of pride that they could prise one of West Brom's most senior players away from their local rivals.

Now, however, it appears the Baggies may have sucker punched Aston Villa with one of the sales of the summer.

Many consider Tottenham's ability to sell Paulinho for actual money (as well as Younes Kaboul) the most impressive bit of outgoing business of the transfer window. But perhaps allowing a waning 33-year-old to leave West Brom was one step even better. If not, Lescott needs to prove the doubters wrong fast...

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