10. Douglas Luiz
At first we were all unsure on the positional role of this new mysterious Brazilian kid who Man City had previously owned and how Pep was so distraught to have let him go. But boy oh boy is this guy good. With a couple of worldies to round off his game Luiz is the ultimate number 6 for Villa at the moment, he can play as a 6 and 8 or anywhere in midfield he really is that good.
He was by far Villas best player post lockdown and that’s where people’s eyes were attached to him. Distributing the ball from the back, in my opinion not many can do it better than him. He brings calm to that sometimes panicky Villa team. With pieces of that Brazilian flair we all love.
However if it wasn’t for the silly buy back clause in the contract and how we didn’t know where he played for 6 months I’m sure he would be in the top 5 for me being one of my favourite players at villa this moment in time (Please stay in the summer)
9. Jonathan Kodjia aka Jimmy Danger
Jonathan Kodjia is another player that helped the club progress to where it is today. His vibrant personality and more lazy footballing (sometimes) helped push the club to that we are in the premier league currently battling for this Europa League spot. Jonathan Kodjia originally signed for Villa in 2016 for 11.52 million pounds from Bristol City.
Originally this seemed like a lot of money for some people and as of tradition for villa fans they flocked to YouTube for his goal highlights skills and assists. Kodjia at time was a joy to watch scoring goals with ease, brushing aside defenders and also causing a major fight at Elland Road ;).
Jimmy D scored goals that the Holte end won’t forget like the Brentford last minute equaliser against Deano. Kodjia in his first season already returned what he was worth. He in my opinion helped us survive the 1st season in the championship nearly single handily. Looking back, he scored 19 goals. A great return for what we needed at the time.
However, for the price I can’t legislate putting him above some of the other players on this list as comparing 10 million to other players we bought is a rip off. Eventually leaving to a UAE team scoring for fun with a hat trick on his debut!
8. James Chester-
One of the greatest club servants we have seen in recent years, almost single handily destroying his career because of the managers incompetence not to buy an extra centre back. He fought for the badge and deserved everything when he managed to lift the play off trophy in 2019. He had risked his body for the cause and throughout his time produced performances which were really top class.
“Chezzy” scored one in the game vs Bolton and also produced goal line clearance of the century with an acrobatic clearance off the line. He wore the captain’s armband with pride and always showed his passion for the club. Him and Terry notably forming a quality partnership to take us to the 2018 play off fin… But overall Chester was a bargain and was another servant to the club who arguably without him we wouldn’t be where we are today with his ability to read the game and never back down from a challenge.
7. Conor Hourihane
DU DU DU DU DU DU CONOR HOURIHANE- The once regularly sung chant at Villa park now potentially no more.
A complete professional throughout his time at Aston Villa sticking with the team through highs and lows never failing to put In at least a 6.5 into a game. He scored goals set them up and worked like a mad man. He was a true deep lying play maker but unfortunately, we have recently started to outgrow him as a club with players coming in and relegating him down to 3rd choice as a cm something which a pro never wants especially with years left in his legs and the Euros approaching.
His goals never disappointing popping up with a hat trick vs Norwich, a screamer of a volley vs Blues which we all went mental about, a superb hit vs the Baggies which tore the roof of Villa park that day. The Irishman loved his set pieces and for a measly 3.15 million was an outstanding piece of business, especially in the summer where we bought a man who couldn’t even seem to climb his own garden fence.
However to offer conor a higher place on this list wouldn’t be fair to the people above him because these players proved themselves at the premier league level and helped us to really push on as a football club so for Conor the number 7 spot is perfect!
6. Tyrone MIngs
In my opinion the Tyrone Mings we saw in the championship defiantly revitalized our defence. Before his arrival we had Jedinak and Chester playing on his one leg. He contributed almost straight away with a uplifting first goal in the 3-3 draw with Sheffield United. When he came to Villa in 2019 he ended up helping us back to the Premier league where we belong. The goals, and 6 clean sheets proving vital in our 10-game winning streak. He was truly revolutionary for a loan player and an instant impact on our defence showing immense leadership on and off the pitch, demonstrating this when he was sent off vs Rotherham still barking orders. Going into 2019/20 however he was part of that defence that conceded far too many goals getting torn apart in games like Man City 6-1 and Leicester 4-0.
All of this said after project restart he yet again proved that leadership and in our time of need him and Konsa stepped up and made our defence so much more solid and eventually keeping us up. The 20 million price tag can at times be questioned for example when people label him to have a mistake a game. This can happen at times but is only natural at times for a professional to make mistakes. We can see his integral part of our team however as when he is taken out of our squad we immediately lose most of our out balls we play out of defence like in the tense Burnley game this season where at multiple points throughout Hause misplaced passes and lost possession. He is a premium player, a Rolls Royce player that helps carry the ball through the transition and is a superb reader of play able to tackle and jockey at will. T
he 20 million is actually a steal for an England quality CB furthermore comparing that of which Harry Maguires was 80 million it was definitely a bargain. With a heavy heart I do have to put mings lower than some of these names because of his age which yes isn’t old but without average age now hovering around 24 we will get much more out of a player like Konsa….
5. Ezri Konsa
The Englishman from Brentford signed only recently for 12 million. At the time many thought this was overpaying and we had already acquired the signatures of Mings and Engels. Konsa at first in 2019 was a raw talent with potential to become a great player.
He was at first a bit of weak and lacking in confidence. However, after the lockdown Konsa became almost a new signing like many of the other signings last year. He was transformed with pace strength awareness.
Everything now added to this young man’s game. He has become and all-round player who any club would want in their team. He’s a vital reason to why Villa have kept so many clean sheets this season and is criminally underrated by opposition fans. He has been a true bargain and for his age no one can complain at how well he has matured or how good he will become. There is almost certainly an England call up waiting for him around the corner. He deserves to be this high up because there are no centre backs who we have signed like him.
Further reinforcing our recruiting young for the future policy, we can see. Not to mention his “goal” against Watford which sent Villa park into “limbs”
4. Tammy Abraham
A controversial one in for some, but a no brainer for others.
Tammy fired us 25 goals with 3 assists. Without him we just wouldn’t have had the bagman we cried out for that season. Although not many of the goals came in the second half of the season he still popped up with 4 goals vs Forest and many different performances that caught the eye. Although Tammy never joined on a permeant transfer, that I’m sure in the summer of 19/20 we all wanted, he still helped provide us with what we needed for that time. Another piece of business by Bruce that could’ve gone either way of being amazing or awful.
Overall yes we never got Tammy on the permanent we all wanted however he did fire us goals that were priceless and I’m sure many Villa fans will never forget.
3. Emi Martinez
The problems of goalkeepers have been a gigantic problem for Aston Villa for the past 10 years with so many goalkeepers coming and going in that time. I’m sure Heaton would’ve kept his place without the awful ACL injury however Emi Martinez is younger and looks hungry for wins. He’s also an international level keeper and many saying he’s top 3 in the league. With cat like reflex’s and kicking which is second to none he cannot be understated as a brilliant piece of business by Villa. He clearly has a passion for the club. For some it might be too early for them or me to judge whether he should take number 3 but with us going into the end of this transfer window without buying or loaning a goalkeeper for the first time in a long time.
2. Christian Benteke
Benteke Benteke Benteke- The big Belgian who was great for Villa now looks to be going to the baggies at the time of writing something which would maybe deface his mini legacy at Villa. Scoring goal after goal to keep, a let’s be honest, a failing villa team from going down for 3/4 seasons. He signed for around 8 million and in all honesty single handily kept us in the league for 3 seasons firing goals in at will.
We made a huge profit it on and Without a doubt without him we would’ve gone down. Although I can’t put him at number one his contributions are undoubtly amazing.
1. John McGinn
The Scottish meatball.
John McGinn helped us out immensely not only in the championship but also in the Premier league. His work rate amazing. Ball playing amazing and not to forget the striking of the ball… Sheffield Wednesday at home doesn’t get much better! You can see how pivotal he is to the team with his injury last year being detrimental to our progress and for a measly 2 million it’s a steal. No player has been signed for that little for that quality. With moves like Manchester united being linked McGinn clearly has the potential to be a big player, which he already is! Without a doubt one of the best players we have bought but also a complete bargain!
The owners keeping Grealish…
Sam Johnstone on loan - Risky I know…
Jed steer - for THAT Penalty shoot out
Hutton - for THAT goal
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