A new month and only a couple of weeks of sleeps left until Christmas, and with a noticeable improvement in Aston Villa’s performances, most fans are now looking towards the January window with hopes that we strengthen further to not only consolidate our top flight status, but push on up that Premier League table.
With plenty of positives to come from the showing last weekend against Manchester United at Old Trafford, we all know we can improve further but some will have their eyes on our loanees and the progress they have made during the first half of the year, with a mind to them coming more into the fore next summer with greater experience and confidence.
It is a bit of a mixed back, but that’s usually the case with youngsters, but arguably there are a couple more than making a name for themselves as their respective temporary clubs.
Matija Sarkic made the trip up north to Scottish side Livingston and after a slow start where he only featured in the Scottish League Cup (and impressed), he’s now taken over in their Scottish Premiership campaign. He boasts 12 starts with four clean sheets – one of which came against reigning Champions Celtic. During the last international break he also made his friendly debut for the Montenegro national side.
Andre Green got another crack at the Championship having joined Preston North End and he’s now made two EFL Cup starts, returning a goal – with four additional substitute showings in the league. He had one appearance to his name in October but didn’t appear across November. Gaffer Alex Neil has previously spoken about both competition being a problem for him, as well as further injury issues.
Jake Doyle-Hayes headed to League Two for a spell with Cheltenham Town and he’s now made 19 starting appearances for them across all competitions, returning his debut goal in their victory over Bradford City in mid-September.
James Bree got another crack at the Championship with a loan spell to Luton Town, and he’s already made 16 starting appearances for them, with one further showing from the bench.
Callum O’Hare headed to Coventry City and the ironic Trillion Trophy Stadium and he’s now made ten starts across all competitions, with an additional nine appearances from the bench. He opened his goalscoring account for them in 3-3 draw with Oxford United, and added a second as they took victory over Blackpool. He made that three goals in their recent FA Cup clash against Ipswich Town.
Rushian Hepburn-Murphy also headed out to League One, but to Tranmere Rovers and he certainly had an impact on his debut – he saw a straight red card. Having long served his suspension, he’s made seven starts and ten substitute showings in total. Across those games he’s now returned three goals – a hattrick against MK Dons back in early November.
Finally, Scott Hogan made the switch to Stoke City and he’s made five starts across all competitions with nine additional substitute showings. He opened his account for them with a brace against Derby County in their league clash in mid-August and he added a further goal against Swansea City in early October.
That’s your lot – for now – and we see if anyone returns, or if anyone else heads out next month.
Who Do You Rate The Highest?