Note: This article is a continuation of our series on players who could work well at Aston Villa. Note that these are NOT rumours or links, but rather ideas of good fits. For more, see our pieces on Norwich's Wes Hoolahan and USMNT hero John Brooks.
Still only 22, Emmanuel Frimpong has seen his career stall after being released by Barnsley following their relegation from the Championship at the end of this past season. After struggling to find regular playing time at Arsenal, he made the deadline-day switch on 31 January 2014. He also spent time at Wolverhampton, Charlton, and Fulham on loan, but didn't make much of an impact.
Frimpong is a player who isn't afraid to get stuck in on tackles, and hilariously was sent off just 31 minutes into his debut for Barnsley in the Yorkshire derby against Sheffield Wednesday. Only nine appearances in the second half of the season was not enough to help the club escape relegation, and Frimpong became a free agent at season's end.
The main reason that he makes sense for manager Paul Lambert to bring in is because he would be free. The budget is obviously tight right now, and Lambert has shown a willingness to bring players in on free transfers this summer. Also wages shouldn't be a big issue, as he imaginably had to take a pay cut to go from Arsenal to Barnsley anyways. The player would likely be looking to move back to the Premier League as well. Midfield depth is something that Villa have severely lacked ever since the loss of Stiliyan Petrov, and even if Frimpong doesn't work out, well, at least he was free.