Technically speaking, Aston Villa did not let Callum Robinson join Preston North End for free in the summer of 2016. But they did pretty much give him away.
According to the Lancashire Evening Post, The Lilywhites were forced to part with a compensation fee of just £170,000 when Robinson swapped Villa Park for Deepdale. Now, three years on, they are set to make a massive profit on a player who has gone from strength to strength in Lancashire.
The Mail reports that Sheffield United have won the race to sign Robinson after agreeing a fee of £7 million, potentially rising to £10 million with add-ons. The 24-year-old is now set to shatter the Blades’ transfer record.
And Aston Villa fans are left wondering, almost in unison, why on earth this bright young talent was allowed to leave for a pittance.
An academy graduate who rose through the ranks at Bodymoor Heath, Robinson made just five first-team appearances before he was deemed surplus to requirements.
Three years later, he is an established Republic of Ireland international and a forward coming off the back of a career-best 12 goal campaign in the Championship.
If Robinson steps up in the Premier League, too, this really will look like one that got away.
Good player— peter luckhurst (@peterluckhurst) July 11, 2019
Oh no, I hope he doesn't come back to haunt us next season. Preston have done well, signed him on a free and sell him for £8m!— MrShafMan (@MrShafMan) July 11, 2019
Always liked and kept an eye on Callum.
Should definitely have gone for him and we would of saved money aswell— Josh Donaghey (@JoshDonagheyAV) July 11, 2019
Thought it was Norwich he was going to? I always thought he was one that got away, looked really quick and in hindsight, would have been a much better player to keep around than buying Hogan etc— Gregg Lowrie (@Deotron) July 11, 2019
Preston accept a bid from an unknown premier league club (norwich most likely) for Callum Robinson. Wish Aston Villa held on to him back in the day, was always going to be a great player #avfc— Ciaran Corbett (@ciaran1991) July 11, 2019
Never should have let him go— Matt Collins (@BullocksBig) July 11, 2019
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