Think back to the summer of 2012. Alex McLeish was gone and Paul Lambert had arrived, bringing hope and optimism. Forget, for a moment, everything that we know happened later. In July of that year, Lambert made Matthew Lowton his second signing at Aston Villa. For £3 million, Lambert was able to lure the young right back away from Sheffield United.
That first year was a great one for Lowton. 37 appearances, 2 goals, assists, and he looked to be on the verge of an England call-up. And then Lambert decided to stop using him as much. Inexplicably, Lowton fell out of favour, and when he did get to play he often looked a bit rusty.
And now we reach the present. From
£3 million (turns out it was £750,000 and the £3 million number everywhere on the internet was wrong) and talk of getting his first cap, it now looks likely that Lowton will leave for newly-relegated Burnley for a mere £1 million.
#avfc defender Matthew Lowton is poised to sign for Burnley in a £1m deal. Medical expected on Monday
— John Percy (@John__Percy) June 19, 2015
Sigh. From a pure footballing standpoint, this isn't a crazy move. The price seems a bit low, but Villa can likely find a decent right back to replace him (heck, if Tim Sherwood is feeling up to it, Micah Richards would fit the bill perfectly).
The problem here is seeing the potential go wasted. Paul Lambert effectively ruined Matthew Lowton. Now he doesn't look fit to stay at Villa, though I think you could make a compelling argument for keeping him. I won't, though, because it wouldn't really matter. He deputised well at left back for a few matches this year (and earned the penalty that let us beat West Brom in the league) and has often looked pretty good on the right.
But now he's probably out the door, and for basically nothing. What a waste. At least we can always remember this goal from his first season: