Thoughts and issues regarding the past and present of a great football club by "The Chronicler".

Tuesday, 5 June 2018

The Potential For Season 2018-19 - As It Stands

The Birmingham Mail reveals that the following players are either gone, going or could be on their way soon or by June 2019.

Loans: Sam Johnstone, Josh Onomah, Robert Snodgrass, Lewis Grabban, Axel Tuanzebe. All almost certainly not to return. 
For some reason, Snodgrass is missing in the list, but he is surely gone.

Contracts expiring (this month): Gabby Agbonlahor, Alan Hutton, Mark Bunn, John Terry, Chris Samba.

  • Gabby is certainly gone.
  • There's the tiny possibility of Terry being here for another season.
  • Hutton may have his contract re-newed.
  • There's no clue as to the situation with Samba.

Contracts expiring next summer (June 2019): Jed Steer, Micah Richards, Ritchie De Laet, Mile Jedinak, Glenn Whelan, Jordan Lyden, Easah Suliman, Carles Gil, Oscar Borg, Mitch Clark.
  • Ritchie de Laet is on loan but appears to have left permanently.
  • Carles Gil appears to be a confirmed transfer after a loan period.
  • I would think that either Jedinak and Whelan might be retained (but both may go because of age) and Jed Steer may prove himself to be the answer to Johnstone this coming season. I see no point in selling Jedinak or Whelan before the start of 2018-19 as they would not fetch a lot on the open market, but Villa may be forced to sell to save on wages.
  • The others may well obtain new contracts.
Looking further, big questions have been raised about the future of both Grealish and Chester, but my feeling is that every effort will be made to retain the crown jewels.

Of the above players that have played significant parts in the 2017-18 campaign, I would expect the following to be available and in the front rank for team selection come the start of 2018-19:

Jed Steer, Alan Hutton, Oscar Bog, Chris Samba, Mitch Clark, Chester, Easah Suliman, Mile Jedinak, Jack Grealish.

Other players that had significant input to the 2017-18 season and which I still see as being potentially available for 2018-19 include:

  • El Mohammedy, Taylor, Bree (though maybe one of those three will be sold);
  • Bjarnasson, Hourihane, Lansbury (though maybe one of those three will be sold);
  • Adomah, Green, Davis, Kodjia (I would think that all these will be retained).

I don't really see a future for Hogan at Villa Park, but his sale may not raise much. And we have the on-going saga of McCormack. Two strikers who have cost Villa dearly.

Any gaps will surely be filled from further promising young players in the reserve squad, and some of those may well make good.

If it transpires that the departure of Chester and/or Grealish takes place then the task this season will be quite difficult. However, rather than worrying about whether we will have enough star individuals, the game is mostly about teamwork as well as the quality of football.

Season 2018-19 is still full of potential!

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