Villans spend money where they don’t have any.
News that Aston Villa are set to sign Fulham defender-cum-winger Kieran Richardson this week calls the club’s transfer policy into question, with the side’s future still shrouded in uncertainty.
At the end of the previous, and latest disappointing campaign, chairman Randy Lerner announced that he would be putting the club up for sale as he could not commit to the rigours that running Aston Villa demanded of him, and rumours soon began to circulate over what that would mean for manager Paul Lambert.
For the time being the Scot is staying on, and has sought to appoint Roy Keane as his number two, which has left some fans excited (and others fearing for their lives!).
But it’s the decisions that have come with his recent recruits on the playing side that have baffled the most. Having ditched his plans to sign young and hungry players from lower divisions, he has turned his attentions to experienced players that will soon be entering the twilights of their careers.
Having landed Joe Cole, Philippe Senderos, and soon, Richardson, the squad already looks to have a healthier balance about it, but is Lambert focussing on the wrong areas?
With Ron Vlaar and Fabian Delph coming to the end of their respective deals, surely the emphasis should be on tying down two of the club’s best players and ensuring that any new recruits will have two outstanding representatives for the club to look up to.
It’s unlikely that Cole or Senderos would have been snapped up soon anyway, and keeping Vlaar, the club captain, would be more beneficial than bringing in anyone new.
Lambert has been given a small about of money to play with during the transfer window, with his budget believed to be in the region of £10 million (including wages). This naturally means that any players he does pay a fee for will have to be worth the outlay.
Looking at it that way, could Cole et al have waited until those new deals had been signed, or until one or two under performers from the previous campaign had been sold?
Things are finally starting to move at Villa Park, but it could be a case of too little too late as the new season fast approaches.