If Aaron Tshibola had been harbouring any hope of saving his Aston Villa career, a dreadful loan spell down in League One with MK Dons this season appears to have drilled the final nail in his coffin.
The midfielder was thought likely to stay at Stadium MK until the end of the current season, but returned to Villa Park at the start of November - after 16 largely anonymous appearances for Robbie Nielson’s side.
And now, according to the Birmingham Mail, Tshibola could be on his way out of the Midlands once again in January. And a loan spell at Kilmarnock, who the report claims are interested in the 22-year-old, could be on the cards in the New Year.
With no disrespect to Kilmarnock, Tshibola would not have expected to be linked with a move to the side that finished eighth in the Scottish top flight last season when completing his £5 million move to Aston Villa from Reading in the summer of 2016. But such a move would sum up just how far Tshibola has fallen since becoming one of Tony Xia’s first signings at Villa.
The decision to leave the Madejski for Villa Park has been nothing short of a disaster. Manager Steve Bruce immediately omitted Tshibola from his side when taking over from Roberto Di Matteo a few months into the 2016/17 season, before sending him on loan to Nottingham Forest – where he again failed to make any sort of impact.
One year on, it all seems to look rather different for Aaron Tshibola.