Welcome back to our summer recap of the ones that got away! On Tuesday we looked at the fates of some of the players that were linked with a move to Aston Villa, and today we look at some more.
An amendment to part one
Just a quick note, the first installment was written and posted just after the transfer window shut, and as a result, I got one thing wrong. I wrote that Aaron Lennon was going to sit out his contract at Tottenham this year. Actually, he secured a deadline day move to divisional rivals Everton, after spending time there on loan last season. My bad!
We start today with Charlie Austin, the QPR and England striker who was seemingly destined to make the move, somewhere. Literally anywhere. See, following his impressive season at QPR, during which he netted 18 league goals, it seemed likely that he would make a move back to the Premier League, to bolster his chances of featuring for England at Euro 2016. At one point, Villa were favourites to sign the 26 year old. Ultimately, Villa went with Ayew and Gestede, Newcastle went with Mitrovic, Leicester went with Okazaki, and so on. Charlie Austin meanwhile ended up staying at QPR, thus proving that there is loyalty in football. I'm so sorry.
Verdict:Good player, not worth the £15 Million price tag.
You'd be forgiven for not remembering this particular rumour, Aston Villa were linked with loads of strikers this summer in case you hadn't noticed. Rolan was linked just before Jordan Ayew signed, so it was dismissed by some as a case of mistaken identity. Villa were after a striker from Ligue 1, but maybe it was Ayew all along, and not Rolan at all. The plot thickened after Rolan signed a contract extension with Bordeaux, because it was revealed that the French side had received offers for the Uruguayan striker, and it was implied that Villa were one such side. So maybe there was more to it than we first thought, but ultimately he wasn't Tim's man.
Verdict: If Jordan Ayew can find his feet, it's no loss. Otherwise...
Mattia Destro and Adem Ljajic
Guess what position Mattia Destro plays? That's right, Villa were linked with YET ANOTHER striker, in AS Roma's Mattia Destro, along with his creative attacking teammate Adem Ljajic. I think this may have been the rumour that got you guys the most excited, and I don't blame you. Villa last term looked devoid of any creativity, and the Roma duo are exceptionally creative, and talented. Obviously, as they are featured in this article, neither signed. Ljajic joined Inter Milan on a season long loan, whilst Destro joined Serie A side Bologna for €6.5 Million on a five year deal. Taking a quick look at the Destro deal, it appears to be a landmine full of add-ons, so was likely best avoided. Missing out on Ljajic is a bit of a blow though.
Verdict: Shame these deals didn't go through.
It would make sense to talk about all of the strikers in one go, but I'm bored of strikers. Moving on to late June, Villa were linked with Ajax captain and left back Nicolai Boilesen was linked with a fairly low cost move away from Holland, with Villa set to be his destination. Boilesen was actually linked to Villa twice, before and after Jordan Amavi's arrival, but the move never materialised, or even looked close to completion. With Jose Crespo, Kieran Richardson and Lewis Kinsella as backup, he wasn't really needed by the club in all honesty. He is still at Ajax, but seems to have been frozen out of the first team since the arrival of Mitchell Dijks.
Verdict: No big deal
Aston Villa once signed a young European prospect who turned into one of the best strikers in recent history for the club. So when Villa were linked to Breel Embolo this summer, he was quickly touted as the next Christian Benteke. Sadly, a move for Basel's 18 year old striker never came to fruition, possibly due to his £10 Million price tag. Embolo actually ended up staying at Basel, which is a decent achievement for the Swiss side. Honestly, I'm not sure that this move was ever close to happening, and staying at Basel was probably best for the player's development.
Verdict: Controversially, I'm saying this is no big deal.
After his one year deal at Leicester City ended, Villa were linked with Argentine midfield linchpin Esteban Cambiasso in what would have been one of the shock deals of the summer. At 35 years of age, Cambiasso was never going to be a long term solution to Villa's midfield problems, but his signing would be a massive middle finger to Leicester City, which I think is why so many of us wanted it to happen. Alas, it didn't happen, and Cambiasso signed a two year deal with Greek side Olympiacos.
Verdict: Sucks for Villa, but sucks more for Leicester.
Possibly the most well documented rumour of the summer, Tim Sherwood looked set to link up with his former Spurs striker, Emmanuel Adebayor. So set in fact, that Adebayor was spotted at Bodymoor Heath for a medical, and apparently even had his pictures taken in the Claret and Blue. But Adebayor is still a Spurs player, despite not having any chance of playing for them this season. So what went wrong? Well, we thought it was money related at first, but it turns out that Mr Adebayor turned down a move to the Midlands because he didn't receive a sign from God. Now, I'm not going to criticise Adebayor here, ultimately he's turned Villa down on religious grounds, and we all have to accept that. So with that in mind, if you choose to comment on this piece, can we tone down any Adebayor abuse? You guys are the best!
Newly promoted Premier League side Bournemouth looked to be losing their star striker early on in the window, as Villa were said to be interested in Callum Wilson. Who knows if Tim Sherwood actually tabled an offer, but it makes sense that Wilson wanted to remain at the club that he helped to secure promotion. It seems to have paid off for the Midlands born striker, he has scored four goals already this season, just as many as Aston Villa as a whole.
Verdict: It's a shame, but an inevitable one.
Jazz Richards and Michu
Both played for Swansea, so linked them together makes sense right? Right. Jazz Richards was subject of many a pun when he was linked with a move to the club, but ultimately he decided that a move to Championship side Fulham would offer him more first team opportunities this season. To be fair, he's probably right as Leandro Bacuna is seemingly a key man in Tim Sherwood's side. As for Michu, his injury record did him no favours and he thus remains a Swansea player, although I highly doubt that we will be seeing him much in Wales this year.
Verdict: No big deal.
On transfer deadline day, we were informed that a move for Bulgarian striker Dimitar Berbatov may be back on the cards, having previously stalled. The deal broke down due to the player's wage demands, and he has subsequently signed for Greek side PAOK on a free transfer. In Greece, Berbatov looks set to earn £2 Million a year, which Villa wisely avoided paying for a 34 year old.
Verdict: Quite why a Greek side can afford to pay one guy £2 Million a year when the nation is in an economic crisis is anyone's guess...
Now that the window is shut, we can see just how well the new players get on. Thanks for reading, and please do leave a comment below!