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With end of contract, Villa send forward to the continent

Aston Villa have released Nicklas Helenius.

Shaun Botterill/Getty Images

Nicklas Helenius has been officially released from his contract with Aston Villa to sign on a free with Danish Superliga side AaB Aalborg. He had joined Villa from AaB in 2013 on a £1.2 million fee, but he never managed to make an impression. In six appearances, the forward scored just one goal and will perhaps be most remembered for having his pants pulled down in a match against Tottenham (a move, I might add, that should have resulted in a penalty).

But in his time at Villa, Helenius struggled with depression, addiction, homesickness, and injury. It was never a case of Helenius not trying or wanting to play well. Instead, it was just a bad match from the very beginning, and it never seemed to work. He spent the 2014-15 season on loan at AaB where he scored 10 times in 40 appearances.

I know a lot of people couldn't care less about him, but I desperately wanted Helenius to succeed at Villa. There's no real reason for that, it was just a quick, irrational liking of the player that I developed. After the news broke of his mental health struggles at Villa it quickly became a desire to just see him do well and be happy somewhere. He seems to have found that back at AaB, and now we wish him the best of luck. Here's hoping he has a long and fulfilling career.