I decided to have a look at our squad and see where we are at with contracts for the players on our books. This article looks at those who will become free agents this coming summer and whose contracts end in the summer of 2022. The next part will mop up the rest of our squad (and I’ll update this one if I have missed any).
Who should stay, and who should go? Some are pretty obvious in truth, others at the very least, have a question mark by their name. All depends how much money our owners are going to want to continue to spend and how soon some of our youth products will make real impacts on the full squad.
Contracts Ending summer 2021:
33-year-old right-back Ahmed Elmohamady. Bought by Steve Bruce from Hull City in July 2019. He’s never let us down when called upon and has a wicked cross on him when he is on form, but it will certainly be time for him to go, won’t it? Old father time doesn’t hang around the Premier League is a very demanding league. Be interesting if the former Egyptian international is still hungry for the game and moves elsewhere on a free, or hangs up his boots. Hutton says he will probably move on, although doesn’t rule out Dean Smith wanting to keep him for his experience.
Henri Lansbury, signed for a reported £3million from Nottingham Forest in 2017. A disaster of a signing and sadly, a waste of wages. As he’s not even in our named squad of 25, one assumes the club are trying to offload him somewhere, but will anyone take a player like this? I have no idea if he has a good attitude or not, but with just 35 Premier League starts, he certainly doesn’t have a good playing record, much affected by injury after injury I’m sure.
Smith explained on Villa TV: “It’s been tough for Henri. He’s a really likeable character and a good footballer but there’s been too many injuries and too many players in front of him at the moment.”
It appears, according to The Express & Star that Aston Villa tried to come to a settlement on his contract (reported at £40 000 a week) but no agreement could be found. £40k a week for doing nothing. Gis a job, I can do that!
Safe to say, in my humble opinion, 31-year-old left-back, Neil Taylor, has never been a fan favourite at Aston Villa, however, I must say he has never shirked or not put the effort in. He’ll be gone come the summer, if no one comes in for him before, I am quite sure.
Contracts Ending Summer 2022:
25-year-old central defender Kourtney Hause. Transfermarket.com says that Villa have a one year option on the player and I fully expect them to take that up, or extend his contract even more. I said in a recent article, Villa Man Goes Under The Radar But In My Opinion Is Our Best Defender that I thought Hause was unfortunate to be dropped following a good showing with Ezri Konsa during Tyrone Mings suspension. Hause forum thread – click here…
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?
Indiana Vassilev is an attacking left-winger, currently on loan at Burton Albion. He could have played for either USA or Bulgaria for his international career. Wiki explain he opted for the US of A. At just 19-years-of-age, he has plenty of time to develop and hopefully his experience on loan will help him push his credentials at Aston Villa. If not, it will be thanks and goodbye!
To be continued!
(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!)