It would appear as though we have an update on the status of Jean Makoun; no one really knows what's going on or when it's going to be resolved. Okay, that may be a tad unfair; the club's official line is unchanged, with the claim being that the midfielder's work permit is being held up by his difficulties passing an English language test. If you'll recall, that was the explanation for his inability to join the team at the beginning of training, for the tour of the United States, after the tour of the United States, and so forth and so on. What was initially supposed to be a minor delay has stretched on for over a month, and at least from an outside perspective it would appear as though the Jean Makoun era will likely be coming to an end sooner rather than later.
That's unfortunate; I'm a big Makoun fan, and I think he could work wonders alongside Karim El Ahmadi. He never got much of a chance to become a part of the team under Gerard Houllier largely due to injury, and his tendency to move the ball along the ground did not appear to impress Alex McLeish all that much. But even in his limited time in claret and blue, he gave Villa fans a few brief glimpses of the kind of things he could bring to the table. In a team that wants to show some commitment to keeping the ball and is somewhat thin where experience is concerned, Makoun could be a major asset to the squad. But the continued work permit saga coupled with his lack of time with the team could lead Paul Lambert to the conclusion that the best thing for all involved would be for Villa to cut their losses, sell Makoun at a reduced rate, and move ahead with rebuilding the squad.
I hope I'm wrong, I really do. Makoun's value is significantly lower now than it was when he was purchased from Lyon in December of 2010, and the club has gotten precious little in return for the £6 million it spent to bring him to Villa Park. But it's clear that both time and patience are wearing thin, and with each new statement from club officials being less committal than the last, it's difficult not to read between the lines.