Been away for a week, and the transfer news has been flying fast and furious. I know it’s always this way, but I’ve lost track of the number of players we’ve been linked with. Then there are new sponsors to go along with a new kit partner, the upcoming season’s fixtures, and the exodus.

I don’t know that all the departures really need much addressing other than to say Thank You, All. It’s been a side I’ve liked in terms of character and effort, and obviously most everyone has contributed to getting Villa back up.

And while I might’ve been a touch surprised at how quickly it all came about, I can’t believe there was any surprise amongst the players. Well, I guess someone found out from a reporter’s call, but each of them would’ve known that’s always how it was going to be. Which in many ways makes their achievement even more remarkable. They all played for themselves, each other and the club, knowing full well that winning the final and grasping promotion would be their swan song at Villa.

The alacrity with which Villa cleared the dressing room (and wages) obviously indicates that decisions had been made a while back and that there’s no time to waste getting the club remade in time for the preseason. So, Promotion Plan was implemented, and it seems a lot of homework has been done.

Exhibit A was the speed with which they shipped out Gary Gardner and got Jota in. Exhibit B is what’s being called the shock signing of Wesley. There’s some obvious intent when you go out and sign someone we’ve barely heard of for £22m or whatever it ends up being. Was good to see Anwar El Ghazi made permanent, and that the Hause option has also been exercised. Everyone’s getting sick waiting to hear about Tyrone Mings, but that will sort itself out soon enough. And getting rid of Ross McCormack? Had to happen, obviously, and there was no hesitation to get it done.

I’m feeling good about the business so far because I feel good about the people making the decisions. And I feel good about quick action. That means thought has gone into things already, and Villa were primed to act and trump the Barcodes to sign Wesley, for example. And now the rest of the business promises to be rather interesting.

I’ve seen various interpretations of our needs in the always excellent comments, and I can’t say any are far off the mark. Given that neither has really played much part of late, I’d be betting Henri Lansbury and Birkir Bjarnason might also be considered surplus to requirements, but we’ll see what deals can be made. With Andre Green, I’m thinking he’ll need to go out on loan. He seems to have a taken a step backward, and was not the same player who impressed before his lengthy layoff. There’s a good athlete there, but his decision-making and work-rate, at least, need to improve. Maybe he just needs more time in the system. Who knows.

Jonathan Kodjia? Hard seeing him strike terror into the hearts of PL defenses any longer. Scott Hogan, well, even less frightening. Unless he’s still on the books. I’m not sure what to make of Conor Hourihane’s future. There are a lot of links to midfielders, and one wonders. After the job Kalvin Phillips did on Jack Grealish, I wouldn’t mind seeing him in claret and blue. He’s athletic, quick, young, and plays with a lot of bite. We’re going to need that. But if reports are true, I’ll be curious to see how Villa view a £20m valuation, and whether Leeds will play ball regardless.

So obviously there’s still lots more to happen. Wouldn’t mind seeing a smaller striker to complement Wesley. We need to sort the fullbacks, bring in some more wing depth/competition, get another CB or two for the same reasons, and, it would seem, another keeper. Be a bit strange if Lovre Kalinic came and went so quickly and quietly, but I suppose that’s the way it works, and even though he hardly impressed, we could probably recoup some money given he hardly played and it will chalked up to what was in front of him and not getting a chance to settle. And Orjan Nyland, I’ve no idea about. The situation might seem unfair to Jed Steer, but honestly I think we’re going to need a better and more seasoned keeper.

Anyway, seems like good business so far. The backing’s there along with the awareness that we can’t stay up on the cheap. Players near and far are being considered. We’re getting younger. In other words, I can’t complain yet.

And then wouldn’t it be lovely to turn over Spurs opening day? First things first, though.

Over to you.

Comments 117

  1. Hi guys always reading never posting. Took me about 6 months to find my password.
    Can’t believe we are back up.
    I haven’t seen this kind of enthusiasm entertainment in so so long. It’s almost like winning lottery for football.
    Great to hear very sensible positive sounds coming Smith & Purslow.
    Some super interesting signings. It’s almost like these young players want to come here because they see something good seriously happening.
    Thanks John Clarke your a legend keeping it going since Matt.
    Steamer would be loving this. Actually puts a real spring in my step at the moment.
    Loving spurs for first game. We should bring the cup, to
    Show them what it looks like . Utv

  2. It’s actually unreal, this time last year we were going bust and Bruce at helm. Just about keeping above water. Roll on 12 months . Un recognizable. Hope it all
    Comes together

  3. Thanks JC
    Good write up mate, you’re saying most of what I’m thinking, & Green didn’t was ok in flashes so probably needs more time to really get fit & be integrated back into the DS system & time to make an understanding with whatever right back they end up with.
    Then they’ll all be starting from scratch with half a new team
    Im really looking forward to preseason, especially to see the new Wesley Morris Brazilian, if it is confirmed.

    But as you say, the management have been quietly direct, signalling that they’re actually being professional & have a clear idea of where they want to go.

    I don’t think Hogan will be here for much longer either.

    The kids appear to have got younger as well as the first team, which bodes well for some continuity.

    I shall sit back & watch the fun, while processing the new sensations emanating from a positive approach.

    Yeah, I’m dreaming of beating the spuds as well, & it would be so, so satisfying.

  4. Cheers, woodyz66.

    A labor of love, and great supporters need a place to talk sense.

    Like you, feels to me like a wonderful time to be a Villan. Good to see you.

  5. AVFC
    ‘Aston Villa and Club Brugge have agreed the transfer of Brazilian striker Wesley, subject to a work permit and international clearance.’

    Oh well, wonder what the FA will do now.

  6. First off, thank you John, for keeping the site going through so many dark days. Life as a Villa fan has been pretty grim at times these past few years, and as much as I’d warmed to our squad since Smith came in, I feared that failure in the playoffs would mean a difficult couple of years to come. That said, what a feeling when we did it!

    As per most of the other comments, the feeling around the club is incredible. I haven’t felt this much freshness and optimism about our grand old club in years. Even when we were regularly performing well and spending cash, it always felt as though we were signing a few duds that didn’t necessarily fit. Players like Sidwell, Harewood, Beye; decent, but not really an obvious fit. Now it finally feels as though we’re creating an identity, casting the net wide, and we’re back to signing players with ability, but most importantly, the potential to improve even further. This, folks, is sustainability, and it’s a wonder that we’ve never had anyone in charge who has even tried it!

    Huge summer ahead – lots of excitement to follow, no doubt lots of ups and downs, but I don’t care. We’re back, it feels like we’re moving forward, and it’s a great time to be here. The years of disappointment finally feel like they might have been worth it!

  7. Ian G – I wouldn’t worry too much on the Wesley front. No way would the club have announced anything if they didn’t think it was a safe bet.

    On another note: have we actually signed Hause yet? I can’t recall seeing anything to confirm it, but it’s taking forever!

  8. Thanks JC- Strange reactions going on about Wesley, fans have been throwing names in the hat but not his. Now they seem to be lamenting Tammys loss, I think its a weird feeling to be celebrating with your heroes one second (3 weeks) and looking at a row of new faces in a new league the next.

    Prices seem a lot higher since our last season, breaking our club record for an unknown is a sign of the times, unless we pull out some really unknowns then we could be looking at £100m, which going on Purslows comments is us being careful 🙂

    How about Hogan playing off of Wesley? or Ohare? Shame RHM has such a terrible injury record.

  9. Loving the striker signing, stolen under the noses of the Geordies who are complaining about club mis-mgmt, sounds familiar to Villa in the past but now we are in team building mode as opposed to avoiding implosion.

    Nothing but positive about the mgmts efforts to build a squad as quickly as possible and allow DS to work on systems and personnel development/integration in advance of the season.

  10. Hiya Woodzy, Hiya Darran.

    JC, I agree with all your comments. I haven’t been this excited since Herbert signed MON and sold the club in the same week.

    Looking forward, Sheff U and Naarwich haven’t invested much money and stated they don’t intend to either. As Darren says, we’ve signed a new striker from under the noses of the wai aye’s so Rafa is another one who doesn’t look like getting much cash. There’s 3 teams we can finish above.

    It’s all looking good for surviving the first season up and then building a quality side.

  11. Definitely think there will be 3 teams worse than us if we can secure our signings. Really encouraging to read Smith say that there’s a lot more work to do. He’s not wrong! You can pretty much look at any department in the team and make a case for further signings being needed. Crucial ones are at CB and DM, but full backs would be welcome too, and a good keeper would be a bonus.

  12. Plug- unfortunately I don’t think Sheff utd or Norwich have our problems having much more of a team they own than us. , they’d be mad to throw money at players when their teams play good football and deserve their chance. They will buy a few then reassess at crimbo. I suspect that like us they are ahead of where they expected to be. Its a shame we did not get to buy and test drive in the relative safety of the Champs but it is what it is.

    Thats not to say that I’m despondent I’m loving the rebuild, its is and always will be a tough proposition in this league to produce a side out of a hat.

  13. Welcome Woodzy and Darran, nice to hear more voices.

    MK – Looking at (and learning from) Fulham last season, the obvious difference is that we are bringing in the players early and will be available for the pre-season so that DS can get his ideas down. This doesnt mean we will not struggle, especially since our spine is changing. I see your point about Norwich and Sheffield United but the PL is a step up and we know teams will fade away after a while. The quality of signings may be the difference if we get them settled quickly.

  14. Villalore- I’m relaxed about it but not expecting us to pull up trees, promoted teams usually start well then fade, nobody has ever been relegated with 11 wins I learnt today though. The excitement of promotion and the players eagerness will probably buy you maybe 3-4 wins early on, having a team already is a big plus, its more like cup football to start with.

    Just read this which is about how Watford unearth so many cheap quality players each season, worth a read.

  15. Darran,

    Good to see you. Keeping the site going is what kept me going a lot of the time, truth be told. All any of us have wanted is to feel some pride in the club again and get some fun and excitement out of the football. And god knows that felt like some sort of impossible dream at times.

    So what a feeling, indeed.

  16. Heroes,

    Wesley & Maupay up top………drool, drool.

    Phillips and Lolley added to midfield…..drool, drool, drool.

    Mings, Hause and Tuanzebe as a back three…….drool, drool, drool, drool.

    I would run with Kalinic and Steer in goal and the full backs can be sorted next season.

  17. MK,

    Yeah, it is strange to actually see it, but anyone who was being realistic had to know it would happen (the clear-out).

    Have to say, not too fussed about Tammy. He did a lot for us, and I loved his attitude, but if what I’m reading is correct, I like the fact Wesley seems to drop a little deeper, isn’t someone we’re always trying to connect with close in. And Tammy’s feet…I was never convinced he has enough close control to flourish in the top flight. He was having trouble linking up in the Championship. A bigger frame on Wesley should help, too. He’s bigger than van Dijk, but I’m seeing he has good speed.

  18. JC- me neither for the same reasons, I think its a comfort thing 🙂 I also think last season was not how Smith ultimately wants us to play

  19. Think you’re right Mark, I don’t think we’ve seen the full DS vision yet, but I’ve liked a lot of what I’ve seen. That’s why I mention the full backs though. Particularly Taylor, who I don’t think adds enough at either end of the pitch, but certainly not going forward. Elmo at least gets the ball in the box and that could be a major plus with Wesley in there.

    Having said that, I’ve seen a few articles which suggest Wesley will drop deep, and perhaps more tellingly, drift out wide. He’s clearly confident with the ball at his feet, so we may well expect to see midfielders expected to run on beyond him, which would add fluidity to our attacking play; in short, exactly what I’d expect from a DS side. If we’re looking to do that though, a DM is essential, otherwise we’ll have our pants pulled down week after week.

  20. JC – thanks for the warm welcome. It’s been a while since I’ve dropped by, but the interest has never waned. The appetite for discussing it might have slipped a bit though!

    So does Matt not contribute anymore? I can’t recall seeing any articles by him, which is a real shame as he’s always done a great job of writing interesting, thought-provoking articles too.

  21. MK,

    Agree with you that things may not be rosy. Could be very bumpy. You look at the fixtures, not a lot of pushovers in there. Like you say, remaking a team on the fly is tricky business, and supporters have accept that simply surviving is the primary goal.

    At the same time, also think you’re right that what we saw isn’t how Smith would ultimately like us playing. If we can get a full preseason in with the entire side, obviously would be ideal. What I’m hoping is that based on Purslow’s comments, Wesley and Jota, for example, are exactly what Smith wants and will fit right in with Dean’s style of play and not require a lot of adaption.

  22. Darran,

    “so we may well expect to see midfielders expected to run on beyond him, which would add fluidity to our attacking play; in short, exactly what I’d expect from a DS side. If we’re looking to do that though, a DM is essential, otherwise we’ll have our pants pulled down week after week.”

    Spot on. The midfielders we’re seeing links to, lots of quality on the ball, etc. But we’ll need someone like Phillips who can put himself about. The attacking quality coming at us is obviously going to be much higher, speed, height, ball control, finishing, all of it. Not even sure Mings and Hause will be up to it.

  23. No, Darran—Matt’s not written in a while. Couple different factors, and he would’ve liked to, but I can tell everyone he’s doing well. I might see if I can get him to pop in and do an encore for us. Would be great to have him back, if only for one performance.

  24. JC- Its going to be a very young side and Wesley will have a lot on his shoulders. He’s been compared to Miraslav Klose but could be more Kosak. It all points to wanting a forward that will bring others into play not score 20-30 to save us like a Benteke.

    Full backs are going to be a massive part of Smiths plan so I am expecting some more attacking options, Guilbert sounds very defensive but that just might be the team he was with being under the cosh a lot, which might be handy.

    I think we will need and maybe get a maupay/Angel type Striker in but the more I look at it the more I see that spend rising. I’m sure plenty will leave yet hopefully for meaningful sums having ditched a whole team and come out down a few Million.

    That said they seem to keep our real signings under the radar but I can’t say I am not shocked by the mention of £20m goalkeepers or £15-20m DM’s.

  25. MK,

    Yep, the numbers being bandied about on our links are pretty remarkable, as are prices in general.

    And yes as well to the FBs issue. Curious about Guilbert, obviously, can’t see Elmo or Taylor being what we need.

  26. £30 mill. Hard to believe that number is a steal. I’ve been looking at the numbers over here for different sports and honestly, it’s stupid money given out. But then it’s all relative isn’t it? It’s stupid money from TV deals. But I am looking forward to what lies ahead with the new players coming in.
    You’re right John about Ming’s and Haus. Top drawer in the championship but a step slow in the Prem. With their parent clubs showing little resolve in keeping them it makes you wonder. For a few bucks more perhaps there is better hiding in the bushes.

  27. You could be right Ian. We will find out when the new season kicks off if our lads are a step slow. But here’s hoping they make the adjustment. Surely we can compete with the bottom half of the table.

  28. small heath are “run” by small men with small minds and small pockets. Who do they think can do a better job for them than Monk. Rowett, Zola, ‘Arry, the yokel and now Monk. I mean….I know they are a shambles but they don’t have to keep demonstrating it.

  29. Thankfully they capped it, gives me a chance of getting some tickets this season, planning a few day trips to keep costs down, fly in and out on the same day

  30. Things looking good for Villa, with season ticket sales, stadium improvements. Pitch looking amazing after recent work by the groundsman and his team.

    Good to see that John Terry has a new deal, and committed to us for next season! Jed Steer has also signed a new four year deal, so perhaps Dean has more faith in him than the media.

    Just waiting for Mings to return from Barbados, and then we can concentrate on finding the rest of the new players we need.

  31. Shouldn’t be at all surprised, happens every time, but the links have been rather a lot, never mind the fees being bandied about. £20m here, £25m there. A £12m buy is bargain basement. Hause is pure theft even if he doesn’t end up starting.

  32. Todays rumours are about Maupay and Kongolo again…, and Marvelous Nakamba from Brugge, along with the usual Matt Targett, Kalvin Phillips and a few more.

    Did the stadium tour last Tuesday and was fascinated by the information given by the tour guide, and how things have changed since Dean Smith took charge, which gives an insight to the team managed to achieve the ultimate goal of promotion.

  33. Hutton to Wigan.

    Villa have been told they are FFP compliant subject to final accounts. Maybe this is delaying some dealings until the final accounts are approved.

  34. Its all ground to a halt, I think a few things are to blame, People are playing silly buggers with prices or the reported prices are a load of tosh.

    Dean Smith is at the Beach having an ice lolley instead of signing one and broiling his pasty brummie hide, back early july.

    I would be surprised if its anything to do with FFP or there was little point in buying £22m forward.

    Villalore- that article said a lot without committing to anything, bit like our window so far.

  35. Yeah, we keep seeing the same names, and I’m thinking there are legs to most of the links. But it seems to be prices and dominoes. So if Mings comes back, what’s the price, and what does that mean for another CB to give us four (assuming Chester will be here and isn’t permanently crocked)?

    Same thing with GK, is Etheridge target #1, Butland?

    I’m assuming Dean wants them in as fast as possible, so I’m sure he’s been on the phone a lot from the beach.

  36. Kodjia off the mark in Afcon and our old boy Ayew & brother also scored. Kodjia may get us a better price than Hogan, he’ll probably need to go on loan again. Still think we need another striker apart from Wes who is unproven here.

    I see Rudy Gestede can’t even make it into the Benin squad.

  37. Villalore…

    Yeah, there’s got to be someone who’ll take Hogan in some way, shape or form. Amazing how we got these players and they became valueless overnight.

    I can’t believe Benin have XI without Rudy. Good lord. That’s just sad.

    But totally agree with you, we need another striker. Jimmy may score a goal or two in AFCON, but I don’t think he’ll do anything against a decent PL defense/midfield week in week out. Could be wrong, maybe he’s slowly finding his way back, but apart from poaching, his danger from any outfield positioning has basically vanished. A lot for Villa to carry for a player with 10-15 minutes in him that *might* make a difference two or three times.

  38. Course, I don’t think we’re really worried about the wages anymore for players like Kodjia and Hogan. Sort of small potatoes with all the extra money. Not saying there isn’t waste there, but right now I can see them being kept on the periphery and not stopping any real business.

  39. JC – We’ll end up subsidising their wages even if they go out on loan. I still cant believe how we spent in the Championship while under the FFP axe, what a waste!

    I wonder about Welbeck on loan – not a lot of goals in him but will link up well in Dean’s setup to create them.

  40. I understand a lot of the comments here regarding Hogan, Kodija, Bjarnason, Lansbury and a few more, but I think we should be patient and see what Dean Smith and his coaching team get out of them during the close season, and we will need a strong squad to see us survive in the Premiership.

    At the same time the management team will not be held to ransom to buy the players we want, so again, it is all about being patient. The Kalinic/ Rongier deal looks interesting if we succeed. The rest will take time, although there is a rumour that the Mings seal is almost done for £14 million.

  41. Villalore

    Agreed on subsidizing. To me, seems like letting them play somewhere else would mainly be about keeping a happy camp.

    Yeah, Dr. Tony went all out, and pretty indiscriminately. I don’t fault him for having ambition, but I do blame him for it not being founded in financial reality. He really would’ve sunk us with that gamble if Compass hadn’t come riding in out of nowhere.

    But credit to Bruce for stabilizing things in the end if nothing else, and then of course Dean for giving us a real way forward.

  42. PP,

    Don’t disagree. The only reason I wonder what part they have to play is the fact Dean wasn’t using them much. He did seem to want Lansbury to get a chance, though, and knew Kodjia still has moments in him.

    We’ll see if all the midfielder links come to anything. I’ve no doubt he wants a real DM at the very least, four solid CBs, competition at FB, more depth on the wings and another striker. Oh, and a PL keeper. But what level of player we’re looking at, besides DM and keeper, seems a little difficult to discern.

    Like I say, seems a question of dominoes to me, and I think that’s the real holdup, moving through the list as we rule players in/out. Seems like we’re still holding out for the top targets, but trying not to be held to ransom or succumb to some of the crazy valuations. As we get closer to the start of preseason, I’m guessing we’ll see more movement. Getting Mings done would certainly help.

  43. JC, your calls on which positions need new players are spot on. The word is that the director’s are surprised at the size of prices being asked. This also seems to be the conclusion of Sheff U and Naarwich who have stated they do not intend to spend a lot of money trying to stay up. Same with the wai ayes.

    These clubs seem determined to avoid spending fortunes like Fulham and waste it all. We should do the same. If we can’t get who we want, don’t spend megabucks on journeymen. We’ve been down that route for far too long. I don’t think Compass are made from such a mould. That said, we do need a couple of CB’s, a strong midfielder, and maybe a wing back (left side) as a minimum. Other lifers may think we need more than that.

    So I expect us to play the game of bluff but end up with some astute signings. Either way, it won’t be long before we find out.

  44. We have very little idea what Compass are doing in detail, but as you say JC there is an obvious, definite list of what positions are light, & unless there are a sudden influx of players, I agree with what plug said about the extremely inflated prices being likely to delay proceeding.
    Pointless looking at the reports, as they are so boring & desperate they are giving the aspiring amateur reporters a go, probably saves paying them.

  45. JC,

    Basically, I think we are all along the same lines.

    Goalkeeper needed to compete with Steer, Butland and Etheridge would be the favourites, and Etheridge maybe on the cards now that Cardiff have signed another keeper.

    Left back is a must and Webster from Bristol could well be the answer.

    Centre back is crucial, which should be solved with Mings being signed, or Kongolo if there is a problem.

    DM should be Kalvin Phillips, but may be Rontiger, in a part ex for Kalinic.

    Most of the rest will depend on price, etc. I do think Dean is still keen on the odd player from Brentford, but would not be surprised if we ended up buying Che Adams from the Blue Noses…!!

  46. Nice one Mark. At 56.7m quid, VP has a considerably cheaper “book value” than Pride Park at 80m quid? You have to smile at the creative accountancy involved.

  47. The sale price probably allows for the owners to have sufficient cash to redevelop the North Stand in the future, and to pay for the upgrades which are going on now.

  48. Welcome to our great club Matt. We hope your time with us is successful and enjoyable. Under Deano, I’m sure it will be.

  49. IanG,

    Saw something as I was scanning this morning saying Wesley was finally wrapped up. I’m assuming it will be done shortly if it hasn’t been.

    In the meantime, yes, welcome, Matt Targett. That’s competition at both FBs now.

  50. Can’t imagine there’d actually be a problem (due diligence and all that)…I’m just hoping he can join up, train, do all the rest without a bureaucratic delay.

  51. Mark
    For a minute I thought your post said that you’re back in training.
    I notice it includes Aaron Tshibola [AT] & Hogan, so maybe just about a team.
    Who knows with Dean Smith, as he doesn’t say very much, just seems to do what needs doing.
    As JC said, there’s lots of action to come yet.

  52. IanG- yeah mate lansbury also in the mix. Just saw that Kalvin Phillips of Leeds has followed Jack, Mings, JT and lansbury on instagram? could be that they followed him 1st or not but we have supposedly upped our offer to £20m , the fact he has followed Mings might have significance too.

    Anyway I am always in training mate no off season for me.

  53. I work with a few saints fans and they cannot believe that we paid £14m for Targett. He’s viewed as atrocious, and regardless of those opinions, why are we buying a full-back who can’t get ahead of Ryan Bertrand?

    Not impressed so far. Why are we buying poor fullbacks and then stalling over Butland?

  54. PW- my guess would be because the good ones go for £50m. JT has said that the prices have come as a shock this season and they do appear to have risen sharply for average players.

  55. but If we don’t spend we’ll go straight back down. All of our fullbacks are proven EPL failures…the French bloke is a complete unknown. We’re short of 6-7 quality signings still, including a good keeper.

  56. We have to finish above 3 of the following teams:

    Sheff U

    I think it’s do-able. But we still need a couple of fast CB’s and a powerful midfielder as a minimum or we won’t survive.

  57. See O’Hare, RHM, Jake Doyle -Hayes, Jack Clarke, Jacob Ramsey, and Easah Sulliman have been called up to train with the first team squad.

    We also have not signed Cahill on a one year contract…

  58. Paul Whiting: I live in Southampton and work with a lot of saints season ticket holders. I’d say there’s distinctly mixed view of Targett. When we were promoted he was one of the first players I thought of. He seems to offer a lot going forward, but defensively questionable. That on it’s own isn’t a worry for me. In the right system, with the right people in it, he’ll be fine. If not though, I think Taylor cuts it as an okay LB, he just doesn’t do enough going forward. I really like that Smith is going for it though, like he said we would.

    The Mings news is amazing. Started to twitch a little on that one. Still think Phillips might join soon too. Lots of fuss made over him being offered a new deal, but he hasn’t signed anything and we haven’t gone away. Would be easy for him to close this off, but he hasn’t.

    Still so much to do, but I’m happy with what I’m seeing so far

  59. Hi Darren, I live in winchester and am surrounded by them. Why would saints let a decent left-back go; they were nearly relegated. Taylor is a proven prem failure..small and slow. Bournemouth are happy to
    cash in on Mings as he was an injury problem for them and they couldn’t match wages he’ll get at Villa.

  60. To be honest, I dont get the impression that Saints were in favour of losing him over Bertrand. I think he was more saleable and they’ll get a couple more years out of Bertrand. Like I say, systems tend to define players, and in the market we’re in, I don’t think the price is too bad. I know for a fact that we’ve paid £11.5 initially. I’m not widely ITK, but on this particular deal I do know a bit.

    In both Mings and Targett transfers, I think the clubs had made commitments to the players that if they received a suitable offer then they’d sell. Targett was blocked last year. Mings was frankly hard to sell. We basically stitched ourselves up on that one. A bit catch 22 really. Would never have bought him without having seen him on loan, but he was so good on loan that it drove the price up ridiculously. Sometimes players just fit somewhere and sometimes they don’t. When they fit they’re worth paying for.

  61. Also, on the Saints front, they seemingly need to sell before they can buy much. They’ve got a lot of expensive s**te in that squad. If you’ve got two left backs that you could sell for a tidy sum then you would take the hit on one of them if it means you can sign a striker, right? They’re not far away from big problems if you ask me. They landed on their feet with Hasenhuttl, they might just be okay if he buys as well as he coaches.

  62. PW- This was never going to be easy, even in the Champs teams saw us a rich, now we are rich. Trouble is top players have moved closer to £50m a pop. I don’t think there is an easy way of doing this other than Smith trusting in his own judgement. We had to buy Mings, to get a similar player without his recent history with the club would not be far off what we have paid anyway. The togetherness we had to get up is going to be crucial to knit it all together in a rush and mings was a big part of that for the team and fans.

    If it makes you feel better Bournemouth paid £19m for solanke and he hasn’t scored yet since Jan.

  63. Plug,

    I think you misread my statement….I said we had NOT signed Cahill, as some reports were saying.

    Mings signed for £22milion plus add-ons, Maupay could also be on his way in an exchange deal for Hogan, meanwhile Smith and Pitarch have gone to Egypt to talk to Hegazi (CB- WBA) and Trezeguet, a £10million rated winger.

  64. Apparently DS & Suso have been in Egypt watching players [& probably the pyramids].
    I wonder what will come out of that

  65. I just cant see why the links persist. He’s shot. He’s old. He’s never offered much to the wider team. He’ll have reasonably big wages. He’s not young. Doesn’t tick a single box for me.

    Mings though, eh? Chuffed to bits with that. Honestly don’t care about the fee, he’s worth it if he plays like last year.

    Anyone seen anything or this Trezeguet lad?

  66. Yeah, not fussed about the price for Mings…seems a lot, but the money being asked and thrown around is crazy. Like everyone is saying, I think his value is in continuity, and also attitude. Whether he can adjust to being back in the Prem (this time as a dedicated CB), well, you just have to wait and see. But it was obviously a priority for Deano, and he does have an eye for a player.

    Targett? Again, I have to trust Smith. Talk was obviously that they weren’t selling if Bertrand was going.

    I think the key to the whole thing is the DM. The more the Phillips thing drags on, the more likely it seems he’ll eventually be coming. We’ve all seen that movie before. Clearly appears to be the first-choice candidate.

  67. A further 30m invested into the club today and a further 11.7m that can be called upon with suggestions that a further 6 players are on the horizon. The owners are going all out to protect their investment by ensuring we build a squad capable of sustaining itself in the prem in the short term but who’s to say some of the players we’ve bought so far can’t provide a return on investment in future years if they prove themselves at this level.

    The future’s so bright, I gotta wear shades.

  68. I’m sure there are a few more players to come in. These are exciting times (unless you’re small heath). The only thing I feel strongly about is buying Butland for 30 mill. No way for me. A total waste at even half that price. If DS thinks we must, Heaton would be excellent.

  69. I was over in Egypt in May for our 40th. There were obviously millions of Salah shirts every where, and hence got to know the soccer fans around the various hotels and places. When talking about the upcoming tournament the locals were all up about Hassan and Trezeguet, and how they deserve a shot in the prem same as Salah. Funnily enough, it was only when Deano started to look at him, that I realized that they are actually one player. So the Egyptians think he is really good, and a lad I work with who is Egyptian is excited we might bring him to the prem too!!
    I think the business we have done so far bodes well myself, we cant follow the past and buy over paid journey men like some seem to think we should. Fringe players at other places are usually biting at the bit to prove past manager wrong, so I’n happy with all the signings so far, even if they struggled to get in the Saint’s team. Roll on August!!

  70. I wonder what Sam Johnstone’s thoughts are right now about his move to the yam yams. A few regrets at what he had and lost?

    Come to that, I also wonder what Joe Bryan thinks of his agent’s phone call just as he was about to sign for us.

    But the most significant move in the last year was Dr X finding Compass. Huge. The next most significant move of the last year was the launch of a cabbage.

  71. Spud has been strongly linked to the Wai Ayes vacant manager position. He has been quoted as follows:

    “As far as I am concerned, I am here, I am going home tomorrow and looking forward to walking the dog,”

    The translation is simple. He’ll happily jump ship after 6 months from Sheff Weds if given the chance. I imagine the Owls fans will be incandescent with rage, just a few months after gushing about him the week we played them at Hillsborough. The next cabbage won’t be far away.

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