‘On his left foot, ooooh it’s a beauty’…. those were the words uttered as Conor Hourihane’s left peg rattled the back of the net during Aston Villa’s play-off semi-final showdown with West Brom in 2019.
The 29-year-old provided many magical moments for the Villa Park supporters, including that memorable long-range effort against the Baggies, but it seems his time is nearing its end.
Whilst Aston Villa supporters get excited at the prospect of Morgan Sanson swapping Marseille for the Midlands, on the other hand, a club legend is set to depart.
It’s a harsh end for Hourihane at Villa because he hasn’t done much wrong to warrant just four Premier League games this season.
In September, Hourihane scored and assisted as Villa wiped the floor with newly-promoted Fulham – he didn’t play a single minute in the league again until November.
Smith made some ruthless and harsh calls during that period, but with the arrival of Ross Barkley and the club’s strong start to the season, it was difficult for the Irishman to break through.
There’s no doubt that he deserved more minutes from the bench, at the very least, but that’s the reality of Premier League football compared to the Championship.
Given that the Republic of Ireland international is set to be 30 next month and he has 18 months left on his contract, these are perhaps the last moments he will spend in the famous Claret & Blue colours.
Now, Hourihane will have to muster his magic from Villa’s promotion two seasons ago because Swansea will need every ounce of his technical ability, free-kick expertise and passing range if they are to return to the promised land.