Summer is a time of hope at any football club. Personally, I manage to talk myself into every bit of signing the club does. Because even though they've let me down time and time again, every new signing has a chance to be different. Every signing is someone who could make a real difference at the club. And best of all, over the summer, there's no games for the club to lose to get me depressed.
Q: Who is you all-time favourite Aston Villa summer signing?
I guess I'll take the un-creative route and say Christian Benteke. He was our first real sign of what Paul Lambert could do well (and make no mistake, for all of his issues elsewhere, Lambert was an excellent bargain hunter) and he's probably the only reason that Aston Villa are still in the Premier League. Sure he's been a headache at times, but he's also been the brightest spot on this club since the departure of Martin O'Neill. It's a low bar, but he definitely cleared it.
How could anyone resist the signing of the 'Togolese Zidane'?
I wouldn't say it was a mistake... But it was certainly a waste of everyone's time, but the belief that this guy could have been something special got me quite excited.
Favorite? That's tough. At the time we bought Charles N'Zogbia, I had so much hope for both him and the club. But we all know how that turned out. I guess I'd say Christian Benteke. Even if we sell him, he's saved Aston Villa for a couple of years, and earned us a ton of money.
It was before my time, but Paul McGrath, m'Lord, Paul McGrath deserves a shout after he signed in the summer of 1989 and led Villa to two second-place finishes in the next four years.
As for a recent summer signing, I still remember James Milner joining in 2008 because it felt like the type of move that could've lifted Villa into the Champions League the following season. And it would have done just that if Martin O'Neill hadn't signed Emile Heskey instead of Falcao in the January window, leading to a late season collapse that took Villa from third to sixth. Milner only stayed at Villa two seasons, and the club hasn't been the same since he left.
Got to be Stan Petrov. Celtic were my second team as a kid so when he signed, that was pretty awesome. Of course he then became a club legend, on and off the pitch, so the £6.5 million ended up being money well spent. And who can forget that goal against Derby County?
For me, it's James Milner. Looking back, him and Ashley Young are really the two best signings MON made, also two of the youngest with the most re-sale value...imagine that, Martin.
But watching him develop, especially in that 09-10 season, was absolutely amazing. He turned from a good player to a great player, a starter at the 2010 World Cup and someone who made Villa a crap ton of money. In his short time at the club, he was easily my favorite player and someone who I was very sad to see go, even if he did make us a lot of money.
Those are our answers and now we want to hear from you. Who was your favourite summer transfer window signing?