Updated. Just as I published this, the news has filtered out, albeit not officially yet, that he has joined Swansea City on loan until the end of the season. The rest of the article remains valid though!
Exclusive: Conor Hourihane has agreed to join Swansea City on loan for the remainder of the season. Bournemouth and Forest were also interested in the Aston Villa midfielder.
Key deal to get over the line for Swansea and seen as a sign of their intent: https://t.co/17toyDS7bR
— Stuart James (@stujames75) January 19, 2021
If the press reports are to be believed, it seems that Conor Hourihane could be leaving on loan this January.
I have to say, with so many games coming up, and with his undoubted quality, I would keep him until the summer when he can find a new club, as we will undoubtedly (surely?) further build the fresh, younger squad. But Dean Smith, manager of the month for December, is bossing this season for us, so in Smith we trust!
The 29-year-old, whose contract runs until the summer of 2022, definitely needs to be playing at this stage of his career and I am sure he isn’t the sort who would be satisfied to collect splinters sitting on the bench, whilst taking a salary for doing nowt. He has only featured four times this season. With Ross Barkley now back, he will be further down the pecking order, the only caveat being, one has to hope that now Ross is fit, he can stay fit (everything crossed for him).
Bournemouth want midfielder Conor Hourihane, who will leave #AVFC on loan this month.
Conor Hourihane, a player who splits opinions amongst fans. I’m a fan, he’s never let us down, has a wicked free-kick and has weighed in with some good goals over the years. Signed January 2017 from Barnsley, the 29-year-old central midfielder, is currently being linked with a move to Swansea. Now he has fallen down the pecking order, I wouldn’t be surprised if he makes a move, he’s too good to just warm the bench. Transfermarket.co.uk rate his value at around £5million but in these crazy times – who knows?
A number of other clubs are also interested. Gregg Evans, in an article for The Athlete also names Swansea City and Watford, but with Bournemouth wanting him on a permanent deal, promotion depending, it looks a great option for Conor.
As Gregg’s report says, Hourihane has 29 goals in 150 games for Villa following his £1.5m move from Barnsley in 2017. Looks great value to me. I’ve never understood how negative some fans are about him.
— Gregg Evans (@greggevans40) January 18, 2021
In our Conor Hourihane forum thread a few comments stood out for me.
I agree with all of you, Definitely wouldn’t have got promoted without him, He’s a bit of a legend for me in that sense. The season we got promoted he played 46 games and contributed 19 goals.
Unfortunately he isn’t the player to now kick us on and challenge in the top half, he’s also 30 next month so it’s not like he’s going to get any better either, and for him I think he deserves to be playing week in week out, he’d probably be a mega star in Scotland.
If Hourihane leaves us this window it’s a shame he’ll do so without the respect he deserves from some fans. He’s scored goals for us, created plenty of assists and helped us gain promotion. He’s perhaps got some limitations to his game but he’s rarely let us down when called on upon.
He also looks like he has been a great character to have around Bodymoor Heath for the other players. He should certainly be leaving with our positive good wishes and thanks I think.
And a reminder of his quality:
— George (@BarronAVFC1) January 17, 2021
— AVFC Archive (@AvfcArchive) January 17, 2021
(I’m making a tentative return to writing, something I’ve done for 20 years now, following yet more brain ache issues and my 14th operation. I was close to hanging up the keyboard, but I’ll see how it goes. Hopefully this article is error free! Right now, the lights are on but no one is home so to speak!)