With the loss of Ashley Young to Manchester United, Aston Villa are searching for an adequate replacement for the winger (insert your own diving and/or whining joke here). The club has been linked with Charles N'Zogbia, of Wigan Athletic, on and off for the past year. Will this be the season the Frenchman dons claret and blue?
N'Zogbia, in addition to having a tres cool apostrophe in his name, had nine goals for the Latics last season, which, of course, doesn't tell the entire story. Five of those goals came in the last six matches of the season. The winger was the star of the show against West Ham, when his 90th minute goal secured all three points while dooming the Irons to the Championship. Considering the fact that the Villa were often on the receiving end of such last-minute defeats last season, it would sure be nice if we had a player who could keep calm and carry on, even after the 80th minute passes.The problem with chasing N'Zogbia --valued at £9m-- is that we're not the only ones running this race. Liverpool want him, too, because apparently it's not enough to be in constant pursuit of Stewart Downing. Newcastle and Sunderland are also considering the winger, but Villa are thought to be favorites -- whoo-hoo!
One other positive in setting our sights on N'Zogbia: he doesn't seem to have that absurd (by that I mean admirable) sense of loyalty to David Whelan and Wigan. Roberto Martinez wouldn't leave due to those ties, and the Latics managed to convince goalkeeper Ali Al-Habsi to stay after his loan spell with Bolton. But Wigan are resigned to losing N'Zogbia, so let's hope this attitude works to our benefit.