Villa the Busiest and Best Team in the Transfer Window?

February 1, 2011 by · 1 Comment
Filed under: Transfer News 

There are so many ways to look at the recent ridiculous dealings in the transfer window it is hard to decide on who comes out best but surely Villa, having been the busiest team with 4 incomings and 4 outgoings, are up there. In January Gerard Houllier managed to sign a young right-back, already being tipped for a senior England call-up, two vastly experienced international midfielders with age still on their side, and one of the league’s most proven goalscorers of the last decade. Well done Gerard! The potential £24m price tag for Darren Bent seemed a little ludicrous but in the context of what went on yesterday we could get done for robbery! Jean Makoun was cheaper than first thought it seems with Gerard Houllier stating that he folked out just £5m for the Cameroonian. Michael Bradley joined on loan yesterday and is highly rated in his native America having played 50 senior international caps at just 23. He joined on loan along with Tottenham full-back Kyle Walker, whose first 3 games have given much encouragement to the Villa fans, not least due to a fantastic solo effort on his debut. Add to these signings the significant wage bill slashing due to departures of the out-of-favour Carew, Sidwell, Davies and Ireland and Gerard Houllier will be sitting far prettier on his Villa perch! So how do you rate Villa’s transfer dealings this summer against our Premier League rivals? Has Houllier turned you round? To read my full round-up of why Villa can consider themselves well-off this February click here

Bridge Over Troubled Warnock?

January 7, 2011 by · 1 Comment
Filed under: Transfer News 

Reports in the Telegraph suggest that Wayne Bridge is set to be brought to Aston Villa on loan to put pressure on the struggling Stephen Warnock at left-back. The news comes a day after Houllier signed right-back Kyle Walker on loan for the rest of the season as the Frenchman looks to overhaul is failing back four. I would agree that Warnock has been poor in comparison to last term but he is ahead of Wayne Bridge in the pecking order for England and the City left-back has hardly played all season capping a pretty bad year considering John Terry did the dirty with his ex. The former Chelsea and Southampton defender is now 30 and looking to secure first team football after falling way down the pecking order at Manchester City behind the likes of Kolarov and Zabaleta. In a desperate attempt to get Villa out of their relegation scrap, owner Randy Lerner is reportedly willing to offer the player’s £90,000 a week wages in full after City refused to subsidise a potential loan despite revealing the player is free to leave! This is what the papers are saying but I simply can’t believe that they would make him the highest paid player at the club, hence pissing off the current squad no doubt. If Lerner is willing to pay those sort of wages I would suggest that he could go for someone with far more potential than Wayne Bridge, put it this way if Wayne Bridge is worth 90k a week it starts to make Steve Sidwell’s 45k look like a steal. Nevertheless, Bridge has shown on many occasions that he is a top player but sadly not in the past 3 or 4 years. The left-back will be hoping a loan will revive his chances at Man City but that is highly unlikely for a player who, if loaned, will surely be leaving Mancini’s outfit next season. What do you think of this deal? Surely not worth 90k a week so I would have to suggest that that is tosh to be honest. Is he better than Warnock?

Kyle Set to Walk Into FA Cup Starting XI

January 6, 2011 by · 2 Comments
Filed under: Transfer News 

20-year-old Tottenham full-back Kyle Walker is set to join on loan after manager Gerard Houllier confirmed that the deal should be completed in the coming days. The young England Under-21 international has spent the first half of the season on loan at Championship leaders QPR where he has impressed in his time at the club. Neil Warnock was keen to extend a deal which ran out earlier in the month but it appears that Villa have won his signature with Walker set to join for the next 5 months. Houllier was apparently keen to add some pace to a lumbering back-line and injuries to the likes of Luke Young have forced him into business. Houllier told reporters “We were looking for full-backs and Kyle Walker is [arriving] on loan from Tottenham, I can confirm that”. The Villa manager will be boosted by the fact that Spurs boss Harry Redknapp has given the go-ahead for the youngster to play in the FA Cup and Walker could be thrown into action immediately upon arrival against his boyhood club Sheffield United. It’s good to see business being done and I’m looking forward to seeing the player touted as a hot prospect by the London club, but I can’t help but feel that this is a deal which Tottenham wouldn’t have sanctioned in recent seasons. Villa’s recent demise under Houllier has seen them fall into obscurity and completely out of competition with the likes of Tottenham who were previously strong positional rivals for this failing club. Either way I’ve seen the lad once or twice and he looks decent and certainly offers something different to our backline, what do you think of the deal? After breaking the news a few days ago I wrote a short profile on the player in a previous article shown below.

Walker has cemented his place as first choice right back at QPR in a season which has seen them rocket to the top of the table under Neil Warnock. The 20-year-old has made 20 appearances in the league picking up 4 assists in the process. During those 20 games Walker has been part of a defence which has kept 9 clean sheets and it seems Houllier is looking to line up a replacement for the ageing and currently crocked Luke Young. The Frenchman is reportedly keen to bring the young full-back on loan with Tottenham unlikely to want to sell the hot prospect.