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Aston Villa start off their deadline day by allowing Gary Gardner to join Barnsley

It’s a late start, but it’s something. Villa have shifted Gary Gardner for a year.

Birmingham City V Aston Villa- Sky Bet Championship Photo by Nathan Stirk/Getty Images

Aston Villa have finally jumped into life on what has been a rather eventful deadline day for a bunch of clubs that are not Aston Villa (who have completed a fair bit of business early on, to be fair).

The first deal? It’s allowing Gary Gardner to leave Aston Villa. Barnsley have had a season-long loan offer for GG accepted and thus, the Villa youth graduate will move up North for the rest of the season to jump-start his career after a tepid spell at Villa.

Big things were expected from Gardner, and he amazed with a stellar goal in the Second City Derby - but after cementing a place in the memory of Villa fans worldwide, he couldn’t really kick on and some bright play was balanced out with a spree of stodgy performances.

Villa’s midfield is rammed and Gardner will not get a look-in, so this move works. What’s more, if there’s a team and a manager capable of getting the best out of Gardner, it’s Barnsley and their man in charge; Paul Heckingbottom.

Good luck Gards!