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Villa midfield duo may be shipped out in summer cutbacks

Marc Albrighton looks unlikely to return to Aston Villa with his contract up in a few weeks, and he could be joined by Charles N'Zogbia.

Scott Heavey

Marc Albrighton was one of Aston Villa's most consistent players in the last few months of this season. There are plenty of people who don't think he's cut out for regular first-team football, but it's hard to deny the impact he had on a generally sub-par club. Unfortunately for a cash-strapped club, his contract is up in just a few weeks, and it appears as if he won't be asked to return.

(McLouglin is a West Midlands football reporter who was formerly the Villa beat man at the Express and Star.) The news comes amid worries that Lambert will have even less money to work with this summer than he has in the past few transfer windows, which have already been frugal by most standard.

Albrighton isn't a world-beater, but he is a player who could consistently challenge for first-team time on this club and would absolutely make a solid impact coming off the bench. For a system that thrives on strikers who need good service, it seems like folly to get rid of the one player who has consistently provided that.

The news about Charles N'Zogbia could also be bad for a club who need cheap midfield help. N'Zogbia missed all of last season and was largely ineffective the season before. But towards the last months of Lambert's first year, we began seeing signs of a player who could at least hold his own in midfield. The loss would hardly be a devastating one, but it's tough to justify when the club have so little to spend.

Hopefully any money made from a potential sale of N'Zogbia can be put towards other transfers. Heavens knows Lambert will need it.