It was a bit surprising, when Aston Villa played Rotherham United in the Capital One Cup on Wednesday, that Marc Albrighton wasn't anywhere to be found on the team sheet. Sure, he hasn't been all that great for a while, but given the club's schedule to begin the season, it would have made sense to let the midfielder at least join the bench as fresh legs. But now it appears that Albrighton may not be in Paul Lambert's plans at all. Much like Barry Bannan, Albrighton made a name for himself in the 2010-11 season, in which he looked to be a part of Aston Villa's future for a long time to come. However, under Alex McLeish, Albrighton floundered, and he hasn't found a consistent spot in the team with Lambert as manager.
So the plan may be to send the 23-year-old out on loan to a Championship club in order to bring his value up a bit. At this point it seems like he's not going to be in Paul Lambert's plans at all, but he's got no real transfer value. A loan, whether it comes before Monday's transfer deadline or later when the emergency loan window opens, would give Albrighton some first-team time and a chance to prove himself again. He's still young, and theoretically that talent we saw under Gerard Houllier has to be somewhere. Hopefully, if it happens, the move is one that leads to Marc's resurgence. At that point he can either become a valuable asset for Aston Villa financially, or he could work his way back into Paul Lambert's squad and help as the winger we always wanted him to be.
Either way, it's hard to see a downside to any possible loan. Even in the worst-case scenario, Albrighton amounts to nothing, which is what he seems to have been left for now. There's nowhere to go but up from here.
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