Report: Charles N'Zogbia to be handed Aston Villa lifeline

The 29-year-old French midfielder has not played for the club since being linked with a summer exit.

Charles N’Zogbia is set to be handed another chance to resurrect his Aston Villa career, according to the Telegraph.

The 29-year-old playmaker, who earns over £63,000-per-week, has yet to even make the first-team bench this season and was expected to leave Villa Park during the summer after manager Tim Sherwood revamped his squad with 12 new signings.

A move failed to materialise in the end, though, and, with the club now sitting in 18th-place in the Premier League table after eight games and lacking a creative spark, the polarising Frenchman could be in line for a recall ahead of next weekend’s trip to Chelsea.

It would not be the first time that N’Zogbia has been brought back in from the cold at Villa, having endured a tumultuous time in the Midlands since arriving from Wigan Athletic in the summer of 2011 for around £9.5 million.

 2014-15 Premier League GoalsAssistsTotal Key PassesPassing AccuracyTotal CrossesCrossing AccuracyTotal DribblesDribble AccuracyAppearancesMins Played
Charles N'Zogbia 0 2 17 81% 42 19% 57 40.98% 27 1,429

A former member of the since-departed Paul Lambert’s infamous “Bomb Squad”, he was expected to leave the club ahead of last season after missing the entire 2013-14 campaign with a ruptured Achilles but was instead granted a surprise reprieve along with Darren Bent and Alan Hutton.

However, the ex-Newcastle United midfielder failed to make the most of his second chance and later fell out of first-team contention in the months leading up to Lambert’s sacking after making 17 disappointing appearances over the first half of the season.

Tim Sherwood’s subsequent appointment saw him brought back into the fold for the run-in due to his past experience of dealing with relegation battles but, while the two-time international was able to show a few flashes, his performances on the whole left a lot to be desired.

As a result, the versatile wide man found himself deemed surplus to requirements in the summer and, prior to the transfer deadline, was linked with a switch to Arabian Gulf League side Baniyas Club [h/t Sport 360].

Give his reported salary and poor production, it is hardly surprising that Villa have been attempting to offload him ahead of his deal expiring next summer, and the fact he could now be in line for a first-team return screams of desperation amid claims that Sherwood has just two games to save his job [h/t Daily Mirror].

He has certainly shown himself to be a capable top-flight playmaker in the past during his spells at Newcastle and Wigan but, having recorded just five goals and 17 assists in 91 games since joining the claret and blues, it is hard to see how he is going to help turnaround the club’s recent poor run of form.

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