Villa have recently sacked boss Remi Garde and are on the verge of relegation to the Championship, sitting in 20th position in the Premier League with just 16 points to their name.
Six years ago they finished sixth under Martin O’Neill, yet a failure to invest and replace their existing top players in the manner which Southampton have has left them in a whole heap of trouble.
Writing in his column for the Daily Mail, Carragher laments Villa’s inability to follow the Saints’ lead and claims now Liverpool striker Christian Benteke is their only good signing of the past five years.
“Look at Southampton. They have lost a succession of top performers but they have invested well. Yes, there has been a lack of investment from owner Randy Lerner but, other than Benteke, can you name a good player Villa have signed in the past five years?” Carragher explained.
Villa’s downfall started long before this season, with players such as James Milner, Ashley Young, Gareth Barry and Stewart Downing leaving before Benteke and Fabian Delph departed last summer.
A succession of top quality players have never been replaced, yet the club can’t say that money hasn’t been available to them in some degree as they spent their fair share last summer but on poor players.
Southampton, in contrast, lost the likes of Rickie Lambert, Dejan Lovren, Nathaniel Clyne and Adam Lallana all to Liverpool in recent years while boss Mauricio Pochettino headed to Tottenham Hotspur.
The Saints, however, had a proper structure in place where top players departing would be replaced accordingly and heavy investment was placed into the scouting of top players from abroad.