Aston Villa were the 11th-best squad in the Premier League during the 2013-14 season, at least if you go by what the players are worth. A new report from CIES Football Observatory, an excerpt of which can be read here (PDF), has calculated the values of the players at 98 clubs across Europe, and Aston Villa are worth approximately £68 million (note: the report is in Euros).
There seems, quite logically, to be a strong correlation between the market value of a club and its success. Manchester City were tops in the Premier League at £311 million while Fulham were dead last at just a shade under £32 million. By that standard, Aston Villa underperformed their market value by four positions. It's worth noting that the report is not talking about how much clubs paid to assemble their squad, but rather the value of that squad as it stands now, so there is a degree of subjectivity to this. Unsurprisingly, no Aston Villa player makes the list of the 60 most-valuable players in Europe.
The whole report can be bought, but unfortunately it costs €300, so unless some wealthy benefactor of the blog wants to get us access, I can't really delve too much more deeply. But it's interesting to note that, if the valuation is even approximately correct, the actual squad only makes up about one third of Randy Lerner's reported valuation of Aston Villa as a whole. The squad as it stands now is worth what Lerner paid for the club when he bought it.
That's a good sign, as it shows continued growth of the value of the club even during what we've all seen as a stagnant period. Even if investors aren't jumping at the opportunity to buy Aston Villa, it's got some value as an investment and that should mean that we see someone buying soon.