In terms of Aston Villa outgoings during the January transfer window, Ritchie De Laet is the first senior player to leave Villa.
There had been reports of a loan deal for the player to Belgian club Royal Antwerp, and with the player recently switching his Twitter profile picture to the club badge, it signalled that the deal was done before the club announced it the next day.
With Villa not exactly short on right-backs, De Laet was always the man most likely in need of a move away from Villa Park.
A few days ago, Aston Villa CEO Keith Wyness mentioned that Villa had been mulling over the idea of bringing a 34-year-old Robin Van Persie to the club. It seemed a bit of a name drop, although Villa boss Steve Bruce did say, “We looked at it and thought long and hard. It was an interesting couple of days.”
The interest was raised after Van Persie made it public he wanted out of Fenerbahce. After being released from his deal, it was today announced that the Dutch striker will return to his first club, Feyenoord, on a 18-month deal.
While Van Persie may not have joined Villa, at least he gets to play in Rotterdam and in the stadium that hosted Villa’s finest hour.
Villa though are still very much in the hunt to find loan cover for Jonathan Kodjia, but it’s getting more difficult with two further options closing to them.
Leicester City’s Leandro Ulloa, who looked like the man most likely to come in on loan to cover Kodjia, seems now to be heading Crystal Palace’s way, after it’s been reported a deal has been struck.
Manchester United’s young striker James Wilson, who was mentioned last month as a possible Villa target, ended up at Sheffield United earlier in the window, and scored on his full debut in the Blade’s 2-1 away win at Norwich.
It’s potentially a good signing for Sheffield United and we’ll obviously get to see him close-up in Villa’s next game.
Another option to reinforce the Villa attack would be Ross McCormack, whose loan to Melbourne City is meant to come to an end this week.
The striker hasn’t trained in the past week due to a flare-up of his ongoing achilles issue.
McCormack, has scored 13 times in just 15 appearances since joining Melbourne City on an injury replacement loan deal from Aston Villa in September.
He’s publicly suggested he’d like to stay in Australia and extend the loan.
Well, it is the summer there, and it’s unlikely that the player will want to trade that for a return to the UK, anytime soon, especially after how he left Villa.
Only the club will know if the break-up with Bruce is repairable, but McCormack would still have the challenge of pipping Scott Hogan and Keinan Davis for the Villa starting striker spot, while he’s a guaranteed in the first XI at Melbourne.
If however, McCormack was up for the challenge, it would be logical from the club’s point of view to get the forward back in the fold to save them paying to get anyone else in.
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