The month of January is with us and instead of talking about which Aston Villa players that are out on loan that head coach Dean Smith will recall, we already know as they are now back with us.
Whether the remainder of the month will see anybody else return, or fresh players heading out for spells of their own remains to be seen, but for this one, I’ll leave the details in for those who have returned so peeps get a fuller picture of how they did whilst away from us.
Jed Steer had been with Charlton Athletic for a season-long loan spell, but with the injury sustained by Orjan Nyland he was recalled the other day in time to feature in our Championship clash with Queens Park Rangers.
His spell at The Valley saw him make 20 appearances for them before he returned.
Tommy Elphick made a late, and somewhat nonsensical loan out to Hull City on deadline day given our options at the heart of the defence. Whilst at the KCOM Stadium he made 18 appearances, but was also recalled in time for the game against Queens Park Rangers.
Easah Suliman went Dutch and made the switch out to Eredivisie side FC Emmen. With thanks to JW1985 on the Vital Villa Forum Suliman made his debut in the 1st round of the Dutch Cup, and finally got 90 minutes under his belt – including some time in midfield apparently. He made three substitute appearances in the Eredivisie but he returned to us at the beginning of the month as it wasn’t a great spell.
Jordan Lyden was another late deadline day move and he headed to Boundary Park for a spell with Oldham Athletic. He was with them until January and he made eight starting appearances with a further five showings from the substitutes bench. He also scored his maiden senior goal during his time with them.
Mitch Clark capped an impressive pre-season with the first team and our Under 23s by bagging a loan out to Port Vale. The 19-year-old Welshman has hit the ground running at Vale Park and has 24 starting appearances to his name (one substitute showing) so far and by all accounts, he’s been very impressive across those matches. It looks unlikely he will now be recalled.
Aaron Tshibola renewed his acquaintance with Steve Clarke up at Scottish Premiership side Kilmarnock after a semi-successful spell in the second half of the 2017/18 campaign. He made his second bow for them in the clash against Aberdeen and he now has 12 starting appearances to his name, with a return of one goal and a further showing from the substitutes bench.
Gary Gardner made the switch across the City to join up with brother Craig at Birmingham City. He has now made 23 appearances for them, returning one goal.
Andre Green headed to Fratton Park just ahead of deadline day. He made his debut in the EFL Trophy tie against Gillingham and following that with his League One bow against Shrewsbury Town but he went out injured. One appearance and goal in November in the EFL Cup (against Spurs’ U23 side) and he appeared again last weekend for their senior side – scoring once again. Our 20-year-old is finally up and running which is good news and he now has a total of four starts and five substitute showings under his belt, with four goals returned.
Kelsey Mooney also made a late deadline day move to Cheltenham Town for his first taste of senior football. The loan is only until January, to begin with, and he now has seven starting appearances to his name, seven substitute showings, with a return of two goals. With two appearances to his name in December, I’m guessing he’s over whatever knock sidelined him in November.
Ross McCormack headed out to Australia for a season-long loan with Central Coast Marriners. The 32-year-old had five league starts to his name, with a single goal returned. As I type, Villa are yet to confirm it but it’s being reported that he’s now secured a loan move with Motherwell for the remainder of the season.
Ritchie de Laet also headed out to Australia for the year, joining up with Melbourne City. He has nine league appearances to his name and three goals.