Aston Villa’s decision to release Marc Albrighton in the summer of 2014 is looking more foolish by the day as he places among Leicester City most creative players after eight games of the current season.
The 25-year-old winger came through the Villa youth ranks and was destined for a bright future, such were his performances and potential at the very beginning of his career.
However, despite initial success under Martin O’Neil and Alex McLeish, Albrighton suffered a number of injuries during Paul Lambert’s reign and struggled to get back into the side.
With his contract winding down, Villa allowed Albrighton’s deal to expire before releasing him in the summer of 2014 - a decision Leicester City certainly profited from.
After helping the Foxes stay up last season, the former England Under-21 international is now at the top of his game and pushing his side towards the European places... while Villa struggle at the other end of the table.
|Team||Goals||Assists||Key Passes per Game||Accurate Crosses per Game||Take-ons per Game||Touches per Game||Ball Recoveries per Game||Appearances|
|Scott Sinclair||Aston Villa||2||0||0.29||0.14||0.57||27||3||7|
|Jack Grealish||Aston Villa||1||0||0.8||0||2.6||47.6||6.2||5|
As Opta stats show, Albrighton’s contributions have been crucial to his team’s success
The winger has three assists to his name and averages an impressive 1.75 key passes and 1.5 accurate crosses per Premier League encounter - more than doubling the Villa duo’s contributions in both areas.
Scott Sinclair and Jack Grealish are tasked with providing the creativity at Villa Park yet they’ve both struggled to make an impact and look a distant second best when compared to Albrighton.
The Leicester ace always had the potential to establish himself as a Premier League regular and his side are certainly reaping the rewards of showing a little faith in him and giving him the freedom to play.
Aston Villa, on the other hand, may be left to rue their decision to release him as they struggle for creativity, goals and above all points on the board in their bid to beat the drop.