What a difference a month can make to your average Aston Villa fan. The old debates have been in large parts replaced by new as everyone focuses in on the subtle, and not so subtle, changes taking place under new gaffer Dean Smith.
Some debates remain though, especially as the January transfer window nears and fans discuss which loanees should be drafted back as quickly as possible, and which players on our books should spend some time away from B6.
With the 2018/19 season now a few months old, here’s how folks are getting on at their respective temporary clubs.
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 ten appearances to his name and two clean sheets.
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 nine starts to his name so far. Last weekend he featured in WhoScored’s Team of the Week as previously covered and I can’t not see him coming back.
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 the other week, and finally got 90 minutes under his belt – including some time in midfield apparently. That appears to be his only appearance so far.
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 16 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?
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 only made two appearances, I can’t see us extending that deal.
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 seven appearances to his name, with a return of one goal.
Gary Gardner made the switch across the City to join up with brother Craig at Birmingham City. He has now made 14 appearances for them, returning one goal. I can’t see him coming back with the headlines he keeps making with his comments – albeit with overblown reactions at points.
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 is out injured at the moment. He’s with them until January but I believe he should be set for a return to action this month.
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 nine appearances to his name, with a return of two goal.
Ross McCormack has again headed out to Australia for a season-long loan with Central Coast Marriners. Their season has now kicked off and he’s made two appearances, with one goal.
Ritchie de Laet also headed out to Australia for the year, joining up with Melbourne City. He has two appearances to his name also, and a goal.