Aston Villa end-of-season player ratings: High marks unsurprisingly scarce

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How we rated the Villa players after a dismal season saw the club's 28-year stay in the top-flight come to an end.

Brad Guzan 4/10

Another error-strewn season for the US international saw him dropped and then reinstated over the winter before losing his place again for the last three games. He still managed to produce a few good performances here and there, but after all was said and done he ended up costing Villa far more points than he saved them.

At 31, he could still be a decent option in the Championship if he can recapture some of his past form, but whether he now has a future in B6 after two disastrous campaigns in a row remains to be seen.

Mark Bunn 5/10

The former Norwich City man replaced Guzan between the posts in January, but after keeping three clean sheets in his first five Premier League appearances, a couple of poor mistakes in the dreadful 6-0 defeat at home to Liverpool and 2-1 loss at Stoke prompted the since departed Remi Garde to drop him back to the bench.

He finished the season back in the line-up under caretaker boss Eric Black, but it’s hard to argue he was much of an upgrade over his American counterpart overall.

Alan Hutton 5.5/10

The Scot’s work rate certainly can’t be faulted, but his general lack of quality was painfully evident at times. Nonetheless, with his commitment and experience, he could be an asset in the Championship if the club opt to keep hold of him this summer.

Micah Richards 4/10

After a solid start to life at Villa, Richards endured a spectacular collapse in form following Tim Sherwood’s sacking and was in and out of the line-up over the second half of the season. Chances are he’ll get a move back to the Premier League with a mid-table club, but whether he deserves it is debatable.

Joleon Lescott 3/10

Aside from a stretch of games over the festive period, Lescott’s first season with the claret and blues proved a veritable disaster. The childhood Villa fan was out-paced and embarrassed on a regular basis and further damaged his strained relationship with supporters with his ill-advised Twitter antics in the wake of the Liverpool thumping.

At this stage, you’d be hard-pressed to find any fan who wants him to stay.

Ciaran Clark 5.5/10

After a stellar 2014-15 campaign, there were high hopes for Clark going into this past season, but the Republic of Ireland international flattered to deceive for the most part and ended up making just 18 Premier League appearances.

At the same time, though, he applied himself much better than the likes of Richards and Lescott when called on and often looked like the lone leader in the side. With Villa expected to need a new skipper next season, he’d be the obvious candidate.

Jores Okore 5/10

Injured for the first half of the season, Okore made his long-awaited comeback in December but proved frustratingly inconsistent from there on. He eventually lost his place in the team during the final weeks of Garde’s reign, but not before drawing the ire of supporters for suggesting during an interview in his native Denmark that he deserved a move to a “bigger club”.

Having also spoken out about Villa’s failure to offer him a contract extension and ended the campaign training with the Under-21s following a falling-out with Eric Black, there has to be some doubt over whether he’ll be back next season.

Jordan Amavi 7/10

Arguably Villa’s player of the year despite only playing 12 games, Amavi instantly won over the claret and blue faithful following his summer arrival from Nice with some encouraging performances during the first few months of the campaign.

Extremely unfortunate to see his season ended early by a cruciate knee ligament injury, fans will be praying that his time on the sidelines helps the club keep hold of him this summer.

Aly Cissokho 4.5/10

Recalled early from his loan spell at Porto following Amavi’s injury, the Frenchman ultimately showed why Tim Sherwood deemed his expendable in the first place. He wasn’t quite as disastrous as some of his fellow defenders, but even his best performances were nothing to shout about.

Kieran Richardson 4/10

The utility man only made 11 Premier League appearances and rarely looked comfortable. With his contract up this summer, there’s little chance he’ll back at the club next season.

Leandro Bacuna 3.5/10

It’s fair to say that the decision to reward Bacuna with a new five-year deal in August looks somewhat foolish nine months later. The versatile Dutchman’s impressive end to the 2014-15 season suggested that he was primed for a breakout, but his campaign will instead be most remember for his laughable comments about wanting Champions League football.

His willingness to play wherever asked is certainly commendable, but that’s about the only positive thing he offered.

Jordan Lyden 6/10

The 20-year-old Australian didn’t get a chance to see any extended playing time in his favoured midfield role, but he applied himself well in his three starts at right-back and should be a big part of the club’s plans going forward.

Hopefully the thigh injury he suffered on the final day of the campaign doesn’t ruin his preseason preparations this summer.

Kevin Toner 6.5/10

The teenage Irishman had a bit of a nightmare in the season finale at Arsenal, but his previous three appearances suggest that he has a bright future with the club.

Carlos Sanchez 5/10

After two seasons in the Midlands, it’s clear at this point that Sanchez isn’t going to adjust to the pace of English football. His flaws would be less evident if he just kept things simple and wasn’t so carless in possession, but he seldom seems willing to take that approach.

Ashley Westwood 5.5/10

Westwood certainly isn’t a world-beater by any means, but there’s absolutely no reason why he should have received quite so much criticism this past season.

The 26-year-old’s quietly efficient playing style means he rarely stands out, especially in such a struggling side, but he’s a consummate pro who never fails to give 100 percent and makes few glaring errors. His two-goal performance in the 4-2 defeat at home to Southampton offered a clear glimpse of what he could offer the club in the second tier next season.

Idrissa Gana 6/10

While Gana’s striking defensive statistics would suggest he was one of the Premier League’s top-performing midfielders this past season, the numbers don’t quite tell the full tale. The Senegal international is blessed with an outstanding engine, but where he falls behind someone like N’Golo Kante is his lack of positional sense and penchant for losing possession at crucial moments. He had more good games than most of his teammates, but he wasn’t void of blame for Villa’s terrible season either.

Regardless, though, his rising reputation means he’ll get a decent move this summer if he wants out.

Jordan Veretout 4.5/10

The 23-year-old Frenchman enjoyed a solid run of form during the early stages of Garde’s tenure, but his first season in England was otherwise a massive disappointment. He flashed some glimpses of his potential, picking up five assists, but he failed to find the back of the net and finished the campaign out of the line-up.

Having snubbed Leicester City last summer in favour of Villa, one can only imagine what must be going through his head.

Carles Gil 5/10

Few doubt the diminutive Spaniard’s natural talent, but the verdict on him after 18 months at Villa is that he’s too lightweight for English football and doesn’t have the pace to compensate.

A couple of wonder goals against Leicester and Sunderland showed what he’s capable of when on form, but he just didn’t produce enough on a regular basis in his first full season with the club.

Jack Grealish 4.5/10

After suffering a calf injury during preseason, Grealish’s campaign never really got going. Further injuries hindered his progress over the course of the season, but he also failed to impress when fit and earned more unwanted headlines for his off-field behaviour.

He remains a hugely talented prospect with a bright future, but it’s absolutely paramount that he knuckles down next season in the Championship and proves that the excitement surrounding him is justified.

Adama Traore 5/10

Adama arrived from Barcelona in August to significant fanfare after developing a reputation as one of Europe’s top prospects during his time at the Nou Camp, but he fell well short of living up to that billing.

The 20-year-old winger saw injury problems limit him to only 10 substitute appearances in the league and one Capital One Cup start, while both Sherwood and Garde stressed that he needed to improve his teamwork to earn a spot in the line-up.

He certainly looked promising on the rare occasions he actually played, but his lack work off the ball also made the approach of his former managers somewhat understandable.

Charles N’Zogbia 0/10

The polarising playmaker was briefly given a chance to revive his Villa career by Garde in November but failed to take advantage, producing two uninspiring substitute performances before being axed from the squad for a perceived lack of commitment.

With his five-year deal finally expiring this summer, nobody will be sad to see him go.

Scott Sinclair 4.5/10

The ex-Manchester City misfit’s career revival looked to be underway early in the season when he netted five times in just two games, but that was as good as it got.

He failed to score another Premier League goal after bagging a brace in August’s 2-2 draw with Sunderland, and while his pace proved a useful weapon at times, there was just no end product.

Jordan Ayew 7/10

After a relatively slow start following his July arrival from Lorient, Ayew kicked into life around two months into the season and soon established himself as the standout performer in a floundering side. The Ghana international earned some rave reviews for his skill and work rate and would have scored more than his seven Premier League goals had he been gifted better service.

A foolish sending off in the 2-0 loss at West Ham United put a slight dampener on things, but there’s no doubt that he’ll have a fair few suitors this summer.

Gabby Agbonlahor 1/10

To say Agbonlahor had a terrible season would be putting it mildly. The long-serving striker only managed one goal as form, fitness and off-field issues limited him to just 15 starts in 18 appearances, while he was forced to resign as club captain last month after receiving a second club suspension in the space of a few weeks.

After a 22-year association with Villa, it's mightily hard to see any way back for him.

Rudy Gestede 5.5/10

If Villa had a few players who could actually cross a ball, Gestede would likely have enjoyed a much more fruitful season. He showcased his renowned aerial prowess several times during the campaign, heading home four of his six goals, but poor service often left him forced to feed on scraps.

At the same time, though, he didn’t help himself with his lack of movement and poor finishing.

Libor Kozak 5/10

Garde finally gave fans their wish in January when he called Kozak into the first-team picture, but the injury-prone striker failed score in five appearances before fracturing his ankle in the 0-0 draw at West Bromwich Albion.

There are certainly no problems with his work rate or dedication, but after a two-year absence from Premier League football following a career-threatening leg break, he seems to have lost the sharpness needed to succeed at the top level.

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