The 24-year-old may still have a future at Aston Villa once his loan spell at St Etienne comes to an end.

If you were wondering why Jordan Veretout was not given much of a chance at Aston Villa by then-manager Tim Sherwood, we may now have the answer.

The Birmingham Mail reports that Sherwood was furious with the club’s head of recruitment, Paddy Riley, for signing the Frenchman over his own top transfer target. 

Veretout is currently enjoying an impressive season on loan at St Etienne, netting the winner in a narrow 1-0 victory against Dijon at the weekend to offer another timely reminder as to why some at Villa were so keen to sign him from Nantes in the first place.

After all, the midfielder outperformed Inter Milan’s record signing Geoffrey Kondogbia and a certain Paul Pogba in the 2013 Under-20 World Cup, catching the eye of Riley in the process.

According to the newspaper, Sherwood wanted to sign 35-year-old Argentine legend Esteban Cambiasso in preference to Veretout, after the veteran midfielder departed Leicester City.

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Sherwood is said to have held talks with the former Inter Milan and Real Madrid midfielder, only to lose out to Greek giants Olympiakos instead. Having stormed to the Super League title last season, it is unlikely Cambiasso regrets his decision.

Although the fact that Veretout was not wanted from the start meant the Frenchman had a mountain to climb under Sherwood.

With Tony Xia open to the midfielder’s return in the summer, let’s hope Steve Bruce is more accommodating. Veretout was often shoved into an unfamiliar wide midfield role in his one season at Villa Park, meaning he was unable to demonstrate the eye for goal that earned him a move to the Premier League club in the first place.

He failed to score in 21 top flight games in 2015/16 although his impressive tally of five assists suggests he could yet offer a creative spark to an often blunt Villa attack.

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