The Merry Old Month of December sees Aston Villa unbeaten in the last five games in the Championship and victories are slowly becoming slightly more comprehensive in their nature given our slightly improved performances and we’ve also shown we’ve now got some backbone – well bouncebackability at any rate – following the ten goal thriller with Nottingham Forest.
With Santa only a few weeks away from breaking in via the chimney and depositing the contents of his sack under the nearest plant, it, of course, means it’s time for another loan update.
With the January transfer window also only a few weeks away, fans will be looking out for some players in particular on this list with an eye to seeing them recalled by head coach Dean Smith in the New Year to bolster us further and provide for slightly better balance.
And here’s how they are getting on as of December 4 prior to last night’s EFL Trophy kickoffs.
Jed Steer headed to Charlton Athletic for a season-long loan spell with manager Steve Bruce hoping to see him get a solid season of games under his belt without injuries reappearing. He made his bow for them in the EFL Trophy tie against Wimbledon. With Orjan Nyland continuing to be a concern for some, whether Smith recalls him is open to debate but he does now have 14 appearances to his name and two clean sheets and those calls are growing amongst sections of the fanbase.
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. He made his debut in mid-September against Ipswich Town and he has 14 starts to his name so far. I’d be surprised if he didn’t return.
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 also now has two substitute showings to his name in the Eredivisie.
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 20 starting appearances to his name so far and by all accounts, he’s been very impressive across those matches. The question is does he come back and fight for his spot, or do we leave him out for great game time and look to next season? Probably Smith’s biggest question for me.
Jordan Lyden was another late deadline day move and he headed to Boundary Park for a spell with Oldham Athletic. He’s with them until January and given he’s now made six starts and one substitute, scoring a nice long ranger in their clash against Cambridge in mid-November.
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 ten 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 17 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. So our 20-year-old looks to be finally up and running which is good news.
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, five substitute showings, with a return of two goals. He hasn’t featured since mid-November so he may have picked up a knock.
Ross McCormack has again headed out to Australia for a season-long loan with Central Coast Marriners. The 32-year-old now has five league starts to his name, only returning one goal so far.
Ritchie de Laet also headed out to Australia for the year, joining up with Melbourne City. He has six league appearances to his name and two goals.
Only a couple stand out really don’t they.