The post-Christmas fire sale won’t just be limited to sofa vendors and high-street retailors this year.
According to The Mail, Aston Villa could become the first ever Premier League side to breach Financial Fair Play regulations and they need to find a way to raise millions before risking a potential points deduction. Dean Smith and co would be loathe to sell Jack Grealish, John McGinn and co but, fortunately, there’s no shortage of fringe players and forgotten men to cash in on.
While you're sifting through the half-price electronics and dishevelled festive knitwear, why not take home an Aston Villa midfielder for a fraction of his market value?
If you’re looking to raise a bit of cash, it’s always handy to have a goalkeeper with international and Champions League experience on his CV. Kalinic, a £7 million from Gent just 12 months ago, has paid the price for a nightmare start to life at Villa Park with the last of his eight appearances for the club coming, quite fittingly, in a horror defeat to rivals West Brom back in February.
Now fourth in the pecking order, The Mail reports that the Croatia number one will be allowed to leave on loan in January. Though if Villa receive an acceptable offer, albeit one likely to be far less than the £7 million they paid a year ago, don’t expect them to stand in Kalinic’s way.
Nine times out of ten, a hat-trick against Liverpool would be the highlight of a striker’s career. Unfortunately for Jonathan Kodjia, that EFL Cup quarter-final treble came against a Reds side full of fresh-faced debutants and an average age of just 19.
A £15 million club-record signing from Bristol City in 2016, an Ivory Coast international once renowned for his acrobatic volleys has played just 41 minutes of Premier League football this season despite Wesley Moraes’ ongoing profligacy.
Put simply, Kodjia hasn’t been the same since his ankle went snap in May 2017.
Villa appeared to have pulled off one hell of a coup when they fought off numerous Premier League clubs to seal the signature of a prolific Brentford striker to the tune of £12 million. Three years on, however, it would be the understatement of the century to suggest that the Midland giants haven’t seen much return on their investment.
The Ireland international found the net just 10 times in 61 games for Villa while flattering to deceive during loan spells at Stoke and Sheffield United. Hogan is out of contract in the summer of 2021 and the Midland giants are running out of time if they want to reclaim a healthy chunk of that eye-watering transfer fee.
Like Kalinic, an international goalkeeper arrived at Villa Park with big expectations but fell rapidly out of favour after his reputation took a battering in England’s brutal second tier. Nyland, once Norway’s first-choice between the sticks, could follow Kalinic out of the door in January, according to The Mail.
And any club in need of a new number one will surely have taken note as the one-time Ingolstadt stopper made a series of impressive saves during Villa’s 5-0 thrashing of Liverpool’s youthful second-string on Tuesday.
Not so long ago, Lansbury was arguably the most coveted midfielder in the Championship. But ever since giving up the Nottingham Forest armband in favour of the famous claret and blue kit, a former Arsenal wonderkid has looked a shadow of his once enigmatic, scheming self.
Now 29, Lansbury is crying out for a fresh start and there are surely plenty of second-tier clubs who would happily offer a midfielder who contributed 27 goals and 15 goals during three-and-a-half seasons at the City Ground a good home.
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