The Reality of Marc Albrighton Leaving Aston Villa

Marc Albrighton the first casualty of the Aston Villa takeover limbo

Bye-bye Super Marc

The news that Aston Villa have released Marc Albrighton brought a few angry outcries from Villa supporters over the decision. The reality is though the terminology of the player being ‘released’ is misleading. It suggests Albrighton has been discarded because he doesn’t feature in Villa’s plans anymore. The truth of the matter is though, with Albrighton being on a Bosman he is able to pick up a signing-on fee and a better package at another club than at a club currently trapped in ‘for sale’ limbo.

Back in April, Paul Lambert suggested that a new contract for Albrighton was a formality after the Villa winger had been “on the top of his game” since returning from a  loan spell at Wigan.

“Paul Faulkner has spoken to his agent a couple of weeks back,” the Villa boss said. “Marc’s relaxed and he will be fine, he’ll be all right. It will get done.”

The winger’s departure was always likely though the moment it was apparent Lerner didn’t have a buyer in place for the club. As Villa supporters we’re fast getting used to the contradiction that has been coming out of the club in recent times. One minute they are denying any notion of the club being sold, before months later firmly planting a ‘For Sale’ sign in the middle of the Villa Park pitch, one moment the manager is saying it’s ‘young and hungry’ players only, the next he’s saying the club is doomed without better quality and experienced players. Albrighton’s change of destiny hence fails to surprise.

There’s no doubt Albrighton is the first victim of the current unstable position the club finds themselves in . The uncertainty of what is happening at the club must have also given Albrighton food for thought, as there was potentially no real guarantees to his own future. A new owner may bring in a new boss and Albrighton might not be in their plans. If a club like Leicester City have given him reassurances about next season and how he fits in their plans, then any agent would advise their player to take the safe option and the improved package.

Regardless of the current climate at the club, it was always going to be difficult to keep the player without paying a little over the odds to beat off the contract offers of others. The best time to secure Albrighton’s services would have been a year ago, but at that stage with poor form and injuries, the Villa winger wasn’t somebody you would have invested in.

Albrighton’s return to form, when he was arguably Villa’s best player in the season’s final run-in, would have helped him capture the eye of other teams, but it was too little, too late for Villa to be willing to match or out-do any other suitors’ contract offers.

Return of the Zog

Lambert’s declaration that the bomb squad has been effectively detonated also suggests Charles N’Zogbia may have a role to play in filling in as Villa’s winger option, thus covering Albrighton’s departure. Of course, there are huge questions about the player being motivated to the Villa cause and that’s far from ideal, but N’Zogbia will have to pull his finger out anyway if he wants to save his footballing career.

It’s unlikely anyone would really want to buy a player who hasn’t played for a season. If he wants out of Villa, then a few months of decent performances may make him desirable once again and open up opportunities for a move in the January window.

It’s a shame to see ‘Super Marc’ go. I had once hoped he’d eventually turn out to be something of a modern-day Tony Morley character for Villa. He’s the first blood to be spilled of this takeover limbo, but I’m sure there’s plenty more twists and turns to come. Buckle up, it’s going to be a rocky ride. UTV


  1. I think Gary Gardner may have benefited from this takeover limbo. Lambert is obviously being encouraged to stick with what he’s got in these uncertain times. I’m sure Gardner would have been cut loose, if the Villa boss in place now had money to spend, thus Gardner would have accepted a modest salary just to stay at Villa for one final chance.

  2. We have prior form for letting English players go too soon, been amazed with the no. of ex Villa players in the Prem. Albrighton may come back to haunt us, give him a little more maturity and with CB20 in the box. Maybe. Sad fact Leicester are willing to pay him more.

    • I think it’s how the takeover stars aligned and his earlier injury. Personally, I would have liked him in the squad, but not the end of the world. Although, saying that, the end of the world maybe fast approaching, if Villa don’t sort this mess out asap.

  3. “Paul Faulkner has spoken to his agent a couple of weeks back,” the Villa boss said. “Marc’s relaxed and he will be fine, he’ll be all right. It will get done.”

    This is the line that concerns me. Faulkner having anything to do with football matters is alarming. He is not a football man, and his continued presence is more of a worry to me, than Lambert staying on until we are sold. Hopefully a new owner will not be convinced by Lerner, to retain the services of this man. In my opinion, Faulkner has been the main cause of the Villa demise. I can never forgive his ignorance of the fans pleas, when he hired Alex McLeish against every one’s wishes.

    • Faulkner is the reason why the squad has struggled as many of the players he has bought have not been Lambert’s 1st or 2nd choices & some have even been 5th choice !

    • Faulkner can run the business, accounts are going the right way otherwise he couldn’t advertise the club for sale, hence waiting till after the last game to publicly announce the sale. Could have been an extra 4m if we had finished 12th. Wages and fees have been Lambert’s problems. That stems from the profligacy of recent managers on contracts to players, Hutton, Given, N’Zog (Mcleish) Bent (Houllier) not to mention the millions spent(?) by MON only to throw his toys outta the pram when the tap was turned off. May be fair to say Faulkner had to get involved then in the footballing side, contract lengths have shortened for sure, and may have installed a US style cap to the teams total wages. Which Lambert must have agreed to work with when he signed on and has done. Wonder how much more he could have without the settlements paid to various people and clubs.Think the club’s lawyers should get the sack if anyone. We’ve worked hard to meet FFP, which whilst prudent is not actually needed based on recent punishments to transgressors..

    • Of course it goes back to MON . I remember watching a Villa v Chelski reserves match on Chelski TV & all the way throuigh the match the commentator was apolagising for their “poor performance” & his only excuse was — ” well it is Villa & they are the Champions !” And that was in the O’Neil era , and Chelsea had players who are now in their 1st team playing !

    • Albrighton was great in the preseason Peace Cup win, yet O’Neill then failed to play him in the following season. I always thought that was mismanagement and a missed opportunity to let Albrighton kick-on with his confidence in full flow.

  4. A great article, and i dont think i can really add much. But wheres the mentality there? .. am i missing something? …. surely he’s more trust worthy than most? …. hmm …. And on a last note … [a rant] …. get rid of the deadwood strikers (too many) …. and … step up Gardner – Grealish – Curruthers – Helenius! … surely should be worthy of the bench!

  5. most of our best players out of contract ? Surely you exaggerate ? As apart from Marc I can only think of Robinson being worthy of mention , unless of course all those with a year to run on their contracts are to be counted !

  6. correction. Should have said most of our best players are out of contract next year. We have a year to turn the club round. So Lambert has a big job to do.

    trevor fisher.

  7. pity people look at Marc in isolation. The reality is that most of our best players are out of contract. And if Lambert goes then more will demand to leave. It is time to back Lambert. With Glasgow Celtic having no manager, if Lambert decides his old club are less stressful – guaranteed success after all.

    Its not about individual players. WHy not look at the big picture? WE are very vulnerable to Lambert getting a better offer. No way we can stop him leaving any more than Marc Albrighton. COntracts mean nothing as Lambert showed walking away from Norwich

    Trevor Fisher.

  8. It’s a difficult one ! 6 months ago I did wonder if Marc would ever make it back from injury , but there is still a nagging doubt as to whether he might be plagued by again in the future . Certainly it would seem that his agent is pushing for him to go for as high an income as possible & that certainly is a problem @ present . But Like Sid Marc is a Villa lad so perhaps he will leave & come back if & when the time is right .
    As for Zog I have no faith in him as he’s not a team player . But if we are to play with wingers in the near future perhaps it will fall to Grealish & Bacuna to assume those roles although I would not rule out Tonev to come good in his 2nd season

  9. A near perfect resume of the players covered. Difficult times. Could even see Hutton playing a part next season ! Only a small moment in time though, villa will always be here. Omnipresent. And long after lambert Lerner and indeed we have all departed the planet,, villa always

  10. its sad to see him go,,, with a pre season under his belt and a few more decent players around him maby he may have really pushed on,,,

    but it felt that was about as good as it would get,,, so maby the wages could be better spent elsewhere

    I hope he does ok where ever he ends up,, but it reminds me of the
    lad who plays for Cardiff,,, just never quite made it

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