Aston Villa were fully prepared for the departure of Sam Johnstone at the end of last season.
Johnstone had blossomed into arguably the Championship’s best goalkeeper during his time at Villa Park but, unfortunately for the Midland side, he was only on loan at the second tier side from Manchester United.
As a result, the Mirror reported in March that Villa were looking for potential permanent replacements. And one name on their list was the experienced Brad Jones.
It was claimed that Steve Bruce had sent scouts to watch the former Liverpool goalkeeper in action for Feyenoord, who he helped win a historic first Eredivisie title of the 21st century in 2017.
Jones did leave De Kuip in the summer. But he could hardly be further away from Villa Park right now.
The 36-year-old left Feyenoord for Saudi Arabian club Al-Nassr, signing a two-year deal in August. And Jones’ new side are currently top of the Saudi Professional League, having won five out of five and conceding just three goals in that time.
“We’ve had seven matches and seven wins so I couldn’t wish for a better start on that front,” Australian international Jones, who hasn’t missed a minute of action for Al-Nassr so far, told FTBL.
“Life in Saudi is good. My family has moved over and the kids are in school over there. It’s gone really well.”
To think, Jones could have been stuck in 15th place in the Championship rather than top of the table in sunny Saudi Arabia.