Date: 25th July 2019 at 6:00pm
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Former England manager Sam Allardyce (words I still struggle to comprehend in the same sentence) has weighed in on Aston Villa’s busy summer transfer activity, suggesting the club have signed too many players to integrate successfully.

Speaking on Talksport’s Sports Breakfast, Allardyce said:

“It’s too many players; it’s too many to deal with. You can look at similar clubs that have done the same… Everton, when Romelu Lukaku left, they brought in seven or eight players and it became a struggle.

“Fulham brought 11 [sic] in for £100million, and for me, for £100million I’d like to see three players – not eight or nine. I have to question the quality of the player that is being bought when you’re stretching over £100million. It just cannot happen!

“Integrating players from different cultures, different environments and different religions is an extremely difficult job at our level, and the entire backroom staff need to be able to handle that to make sure the players adjust as quickly as possible.”

Of course, Allardyce completely overlooks the fact that a number of our ‘new’ arrivals – Tyrone Mings, Anwar El Ghazi and Kortney Hause – were re-signing key players from last season, effectively making loan deals permanent. To do so would offer unwanted qualification to his sweeping comments.

He also ignores the fact we’ve released a large number of fringe players and out-of-contract squad members, replacing them with talented, youthful options expected to flourish through coaching, a concept alien to Allardyce, whose track record is one of paying big money for players he considers the finished article.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, Villa fans have widely poured scorn on Allardyce’s observations:

Any transfer is a risk, albeit a calculated one in most cases, and to some extent, I would agree that trying to integrate so many new faces (and to keep them happy and motivated) is riskier still.

But given the fact that, as I’ve mentioned, a number of the new signings already have their feet under the table, I would argue we have far less to worry about than would otherwise be the case.

We have the coaching set-up to ensure the new signings have the best possible chance of achieving their undoubted potential and I can’t wait for the season to get started and see the heights to which these players can take this great football club.


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