After a solid start to the transfer window by singing Micah Richards on a free, there hasn't exactly been a lot of activity around Aston Villa this off-season. There had been a few links here and there, and plenty of players exiting the club, but there was little news of any incoming players until last week, when Villa put in an offer (which was later rejected) for Stoke City goalkeeper Asmir Begovic. Maybe, with players soon to return from holidays, and the pre-season just around the corner, this was a sign that there would soon be some new players in Tim Sherwood's army.
On Monday, this momentum seemed to carry on with a report that Villa had another bid rejected, this time it for FC Groningen midfielder Tjaronn Chery (pronounced kind of like "Sharon Sherry" but with a French accent). The 27-year-old Dutch playmaker scored 15 goals for Groningen this past season, and was called up for the Netherland's international squad for the first time in his career last month. After captaining FC Twente's reserve side to the national reserve championship in 2008, Chery signed a professional contract with Twente, and then spent the next few years out on loan. After a brief spell at FC Emmen, he moved to ADO Den Haag, and has spent the past two years at Groningen.
The rejected offer was around 3.5 million, but Villa are expected to increase their offer for Chery, who has also received offers from the Seattle Sounders and other clubs in the Middle East. It seems like Chery wants to move, but strongly desires to stay within Europe in order to help his chances for the national team.
At 27, he's slightly older than Tim Sherwood's typical target age of 25 and under, but 27 is the same age as Micah Richards, Sherwood's only other acquisition this summer, and both players should arguably be entering the prime of their career. As an attacking midfielder, I would imagine Chery's arrival would surely signal the end (if it hasn't ended already) of Carles Gil's career at Aston Villa. So while commentators may breathe a sigh of relief at Gil's impending exit, they're likely to start sweating again if Villa manages to capture Tjaronn Chery.