Transfer Roundup at Villa Park

After yesterday’s report, we have a smaller report on the transfer activity here at Villa. But before that, there was a Youth Cup game v Leverkusen yesterday. As I had said, we didn’t have much hope. And in the 10th minute, we conceded, threw Julian Brandt converting from a Calhanoglu free-kick. 1-0 to them. However Adryan played in Derlis who equalised in the 37th minute. But no, Biro assisted Calhanoglu a minute later to give them the lead again. Frustrating. We somehow managed to equalise late in the game with John assisting Hodorogea for a rare goal. 2-2. Sadly Brandt assisted Carlos to give them the lead again a minute later and they eventually ran out winners 3-2. Deservedly so, with them dominating possession and shots. Calhanoglu got MOTM for them and Leverkusen are now through as group winners with Madrid going through 2nd, as they drew to Flamengo. So Keano sent me flowers but couldn’t do the job himself, lol. Congrats Noisy on your success.

So we now move on to transfers. I was surprised to see the CSKA Moskva manager, Sir Walter Smith, himself in my office about 7 days ago. He was interested in few of my players, and gave me a straight up offer of Topal and Leandro for Kalas. This looked like a speculative offer from him and Topal was one that caught my offer, so I told him to drop a bid once his TB expired and I would think about it. The Bayern manager also showed some interest for Kalas but Tomas was looking for more game time and he would not get that at Bayern, so I rebuffed Gursimran‘s overtures. Mr. Smith came back offering Cragno instead of Leandro and this piqued my interest. A top-class centre half whom we were looking for ages and a U-21 Italian prospective keeper for Kalas? Deal.

But then I put Jordan Ayew on offer on the market and Mr. Smith came with another offer for Ayew, this time it was Kevin-Prince Boateng and cash for Ayew. We didn’t need a holding mid though, plus Kevin is known for his tantrums, so I said no. I instead tried for Emenike instead, the highest goalscorer of this season among all 100 teams. It was at this point that a series of bids flurried into my inbox (far superior than the crap fax system used by Keano at Madrid). We settled upon exchanging Djuricic for Emenike, Topal and Cragno for Kalas. What a superb opportunity and deal. Who would have thought this possible? 3 for 2 with us, in my opinion, getting the better of those deals. Sure, in the long term he may win this deal but my approach is now short-term to get promotion. So that concluded deals between two Div 3 promotion contenders. Surprising, maybe, but the fans and I were thrilled with these deals.

So Kalas, who joined us for 6 mil at the start of the season from Chelsea, left for Moscow, a place closer to home. His fourth club in this GW after Middlesborough, where he spent the first season at external, Chelsea, where he was for a few days, Villa and now Moskva. Tomas played just 4 games for us, getting a average rating of 6 with 2 yellow cards. A shame he couldn’t achieve his potential with us, but we wish him the best of luck. Who replaces him in   the team? Mehmet Topal, a 89-rated, 30 year old Turk. An experienced defender, he strengthens our defence tenfold. Mehmet was pleased to join us and hopes he can stay at Villa for an extended period after moving from Fenerbahce to CSKA recently, and now to Villa. We hope he will help us in our promotion battle.

Filip Djuricic was another one to leave us. He was with us since the start of the GW, after moving from Benfica to Villa in exchange for Amavi, who is now on loan at Chievo from Bayern. Aforementioned Gursimran took him from Villa to Benfica and then to Bayern. Anyway, Filip scored 11 goals and 4 assists in 38 games for us, and we wish him the best of luck. But we now have the highest goalscorer in the league, Emmanuel Emenike. He followed the same path as Mehmet. His combined stats for Fenerbahce and Moskva read as 31 goals and 9 assists in 39 games, which is brilliant. This season he has 17 goals and 5 assists from 19 games. No wonder he was in the Div 2 TOTS last season. Strange why his old manager wanted to sell him but we are happy with the deal and hope he brings the goals for us. He already scored a brace in his debut game. He could fire us to promotion.

Lastly, Alessio Cragno, the 21 year old keeper from Italy, rated 84, completed the deals. He came in for the 2.6 mil given to us as part of the Kalas deal. We hope he will do well for us and grow well here, playing in the Youth Cup. He will have good competition in Per Braveit.

Quick negotiations with the Stuttgart manager, Feargal, also saw Jordan Ayew make a move, not to Moscow, but to Stuttgart. It was sad to see Jordan go but he only scored 5 goals and 2 assists in 32 games for us, not good enough. Hope he realises his potential at Stuttgart. In return, we got a quality left-back in Emiliano Insua, who will be our new starting LB, and the legend Didier Drogba. I couldn’t turn down the opportunity to work with such a legend of the game. If the Drog and Emenike fire us to promotion, it will be worth it. Drog has already gotten 3 assist in 2 games which is a great start.

Insua’s signing meant that we had four left-backs in the side. One had to go which meant that Martin Ollson had to leave us for external, back to Norwich. He joined us at the end of last season and played 7 games for us. Hopefully he gets a new club soon.

So that is it for the transfer round-up. Hopefully we can continue to do well and get promoted. Thanks for hopefully bearing with me till the end.

Come on you Villans!

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