While I started this series a few years ago looking at the teams that could go down and the players that Aston Villa (and others) may want from them, Villa were always in a precarious position, but never actually suffered relegation to the Football League Championship. This year, it's already been determined that
Tim Sherwood's Rémi Garde's Eric Black's (?) team will not be playing in the Premier League next season.
Since the Claret and Blues never actually went down, looking at the desirable players of our relegated rivals was always a fun thing to do. This time around, it's bittersweet, but still should be informative. Even though it's been the worst campaign in recent (or any, for a lot of supporters) memory, there are still some players under contract at Villa that could benefit other sides that will be involved in top flight fixtures come August.
One of the mainstays of last season's Aston Villa team, Jores Okore hasn't has as much of an influence this season. Only 12 appearances in this campaign hasn't allowed him to rediscover the form that saw him turning into a reliable central defender. Still just 23, and with great strength and pace, he's someone that could start for about 30 percent of teams in England's top flight, or another major league.
Similar to Villa's season, it all started off on a high note for the 22-year-old French left back. Imported from OCG Nice in Ligue 1 for £9 million, Amavi looked like a player that was going to be a mainstay in the much maligned Villa backline for years to come. That is, until disaster struck while Amavi was playing for the U21 French national team in a friendly, and he injured his knee in November, ruling him out for the rest of the season. Plenty of teams will be looking at Amavi, as left backs aren't exactly easy to come by, even though he only featured in 10 Premier League fixtures this season.
Idrissa Gana Gueye:
Another import from the French league, Gana took some time to get settled in at Aston Villa. He's really come into his own in the second half of the campaign, showing his versatility in midfield. Whether it be spearheading an (albeit rare) attack or tracking back to make a key tackle, Gueye is certainly a player that could make an impact for teams looking to survive or maybe do a little better than that in the Premier League or another top league.
Grealish was expected to kick on this season and showcase his skills as one of the brightest young English talents in the division. But after the post-Sherwood fallout, a slew of nagging injuries and just the flat-out failure to replicate his form at the end of last year, this has been a year of regression for Grealish. Still, his English citizenship makes him an attractive candidate for even the bigger sides in the division, and he could play a part for the majority of teams in the league, if he decides to move on from his boyhood club.
The Barçelona wonderboy, Adama, was seen as someone brought in by Villa to light the league on fire when he was brought in last summer. Unfortunately, he's still very raw. The lightning-quick pace he possesses is just about the only attribute that's on par with what's expected at this level. For a winger, his crossing is abysmal, and his individualistic attitude is another quality that needs to change for him to thrive in a team. Still, another year of development could turn him into the player that Villa wanted, rather than the one they purchased.
He will probably be named Aston Villa's player of the year (just kidding, the club scrapped the POTY award), but Jordan Ayew certainly envisioned a better campaign when he arrived in B6 last summer. Yet another import from France, the 35-times capped Ghana international has still made a name for himself in England despite starting in his brother's shadow. With six Premier League goals, most of them spectacular, his finishing quality is something that any midtable team in Europe could use.
Obviously I couldn't include everyone that is or could be leaving Villa on this list. Are there any players that you think will depart for nominal fees this summer that you feel I should have included? Let us know in the comments!