Ashley Westwood has officially completed a move from Aston Villa to Burnley, rumoured to be worth £5 million. The midfielder has made 23 appearances with Villa this year, but has only been used irregularly as a starter by manager Steve Bruce. His move to Burnley will see him playing in the Premier League again and will leave behind a sharply divided fanbase in Birmingham.
Westwood was one of the signing that Paul Lambert made in his first summer with the club. He joined on the final day of the 2012 summer window for an estimated £2 million. Since then he has made 164 appearances for the claret and blue, with most of those being starts. Despite his consistency in actually playing, many fans have decried the inconsistency of the results he produces when he is on the pitch.
On his day, Westwood can be a strong midfield commander, and glimpses of that ability kept managers coming back to him. But fans and managers alike seemed to tire of his penchant for disappearing for long stretches of time. When he was bad it usually wasn’t in the “actively detrimental” sense but rather in the “where is he?” one.
With that said, it always seemed as if the criticism was worse than the play merited. Westwood was a solid player, and one who was probably asked to do too much. To his credit, he bore the weight of the fans with aplomb and never did anything to discredit the team. It’s a bit sad to see him go, but it’s probably for the best for both him and Aston Villa.
In the meantime, let’s just remember this beauty: