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With relegation confirmed: Who should Aston Villa keep, and who should be sold?

Aston Villa will spend next season (at least) in the Championship. That means decisions need to be made, so let's make them!

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For five long years, Aston Villa have been circling the drain towards relegation. At any point, the club could have undertaken a serious overhaul and either avoided this fate or at least met it with some hope that they are prepared. But they did not, and now they will be forced into a transformative summer in preparation for the financial belt-tightening of the Championship.

So let's ask the question that plenty of us have already been debating: Who should stay, and who should go? I'll go through a list of first-team regulars and high earned and give my quick judgment. But really, the whole point of this is to hear what you think! Dive into the comments and let us know who you want at the club to help in the promotion fight next year and who you'd like to see thrown into the sea.

Kieran Richardson

His contract is up this summer, and if it gets renewed you can feel free to bitterly complain until someone listens. Prepare yourself with lozenges and tea, because no one is listening.

Verdict: Kieran Richard-gone

Charles N'Zogbia

I will never hold his ridiculous contract against him, because he's not the idiot that thought giving Charles N'Zogbia a stupid amount of money each week was smart. That said, it is a stupid amount of money. As would be £10. Thankfully his contract is up in the summer and we don't need to give him any money. No. Put down the pen. HE DOES NOT NEED A NEW CONTRACT. STOP! WHAT ARE YOU DOING?!

Verdict: Au revoir, Charles.

Joleon Lescott

There is literally no one on this team that I dislike more. At least Gabby has the decency to be fat enough to not get onto the pitch and actively hurt Villa. I'll take passive pain over active pain any day. But our largest source of active pain wants to stay around for as long as we'll have him. That should mean that he is gone on the last day of the season. But who will buy him? An MLS team? Why would we do that to the MLS?

Oh, because he's got another year on his contract and he needs to go away forever.

Verdict: Give me far less-cott.

Brad Guzan

Ok, so this is the first tough one. My gut instinct is to see him go. He's a shambles of his former self and I think he's a detriment to the club. So that should be easy. Drop him.

The question is: who do we replace him with? Jed Steer? Mark Bunn? If the plan is to run with either or both of those players next year, then yes, drop Guzan. If not, we've got to keep him AT LEAST until we find a new keeper.

Verdict: Drop him, but make sure there is a plan in place to replace him.

Mark Bunn

No, he wasn't great. But I think he's a capable back-up who is cheap. And fans don't hate him quite the way they hate Guzan.

Verdict: Keep a Bunn in the oven

Alan Hutton

A largely ineffective right-back who's largest claim to remaining on the team is that he gives a lot of effort, even if most of that effort is bad? Yeah, this should be easy. The only complicating factor is the fact that his contract isn't up, and who would want to buy an Alan Hutton?

Verdict: Sell him if you can. Use him as depth if you can't.

Libor Kozak

I want him to stay. I want him to actually be given a freaking chance. But I sort of doubt he ever will be. For some reason this club hates Kozak. So put him out of his misery.

Verdict: Keep him if you want to use him. Sell him somewhere if you don't. Free up that money.

Joe Bennett

KEEP. HIM. Remember when Jordan Amavi got injured? Remember how Kieran Richardson was our back-up at left back? And then Aly CIssokho? THOSE ARE BAD OPTIONS. Bennett isn't a saviour, but he's a capable back-up.

Verdict: Even if you don't like him, think of the alternatives. He needs to stay.

Jores Okore

He hasn't been great this season, but he's young and has immense potential. Besides, we'll need centre-backs when Lescott and Richards are gone, right?

Verdict: He stays. Maybe we can use him well.

Carlos Sánchez

Villa's forgotten midfielder. His ability to stop up the middle and hold up play could be invaluable in a rough and tumble league like the Championship.

Verdict: Keep him.

Gabby Agbonlahor

This isn't actually a question, right?

Verdict: Get rid of him, just as quickly as he can run out of here.

Aly Cissokho

Bless his heart. He tries. But he's pretty ineffective. That said, if he were given some cover on the left side of the pitch and allowed to just focus on defensive duties, he could be useful. With time left on his contract, getting rid of him could be tough.

Verdict: Keep him, because used properly he can be helpful.

Gary Gardner

Oh my god I have so many players left to go. He can help. He's still (somehow?) young.

Verdict: Keep him.

Jack Grealish

Well, if there's one place we know he does well it's outside of the Premier League. Also, we know the potential is there.

Verdict: Keep him.

Micah Richards

He's still on contract, so getting rid of him may be tough. But we should strive to get rid of him. Tell him he should be at Aston Villa and he'll run literally anywhere else. That'll fix it.

Verdict: Dump him.

Scott Sinclair

There was something like a five-month period where he was good. There are a lot of players who need to be dumped next year, and while I don't love keeping him around, he's a very low-priority cut.

Verdict: Get rid of him? I guess?

Idrissa Gana Gueye

We may not have much choice in this if reports are to be believed. But if we can hold onto him, we should. He's been one of the two or three best players on this team this year.

Verdict: Keep him if we can.

Nathan Baker

Remember him? He's out on loan right now, but he should absolutely be given a chance. Build the centre back corps around him, Ciaran Clark, and Jores Okore. Make it work. Build the chemistry. And reap years of benefits.

Verdict: Keep him.

Jed Steer

Yeah, so if we get a new keeper in, Steer should be back-up number one and Bunn should be number two. Otherwise we go into the season with Steer as first choice, probably.

Verdict: Keep him.

Carles Gil

I mean... he's not terrible. And he's not great.

Verdict: Shrug.

Rudy Gestede

Well, if there is one thing we know about Rudy Gestede it's that he is UNSTOPPABLE in the Championship.

Verdict: Keep him. Besides, we have like one other striker.

Ciaran Clark

Another who hasn't been great this year. But here's a crazy idea. What if we let him play with Jores Okore. What if they built on the success they had last year. WHAT A CRAZY THOUGHT THAT IS.

Verdict: Keep him. And play him with Okore.

Ashley Westwood

See: Carles Gil

Verdict: See: Carles Gil

Leandro Bacuna

I like him. But I think I may be the only one. Fans HATE him. So get rid of him. It'll make everyone happier.

Verdict: Goodbye!

Jordan Ayew

Ah, our leading scorer. He's better than you think and worse than you want. He's also one of two strikers we have who have shown the bare minimum of competence.

Verdict: Keep him.

Jordan Veretout

He's disappeared lately for no real reason. He's a strong performer in midfield, and if/when Gana leaves, he could take over the role of motoric force in the middle of the pitch. But if we lose him, it's not the end of the world.

Verdict: Keep him

Jordan Amavi

Even if you don't remember him, here are your other options at left back: Aly Cissokho, Joe Bennett, Kieran Richardson.


Adama Traore

More like Adama shame that we haven't seen Tra-more of him this year, amirite? Listen, I'm almost out of words. This was longer than I thought. But he's really, astonishingly, devastatingly good. IF. HE. GETS. PLAYED.

Verdict: Keep AND PLAY him.

Now, let me know, what do you think? Jump in the comments below!