Another link and another Australian, this time Brandon O’Neill of Sydney FC.
The 23 year old midfielder, who is out of contract at the end of the season, is expected to move on to a European based club. Unlike the aforementioned Risdon, O’Neill isn’t hampered by potential visa issues, owing to Irish heritage.
…it’s always been a dream of mine to play at the highest level possible and whether that is in the European league, or whatever, I’m driven and I’m determined to make that a reality.
O’Neill certainly looks an interesting prospect, who looks to have both an eye for goal but also a creative spark about him.
It’s always dangerous judging a player based upon his highlights reel, but here are some of O’Neill’s goals to date:
Cultured Villa academy starlet Jake Doyle-Hayes is likely to seal a loan move away from Villa Park to pick up valuable first team football.
The 19 year old old has been on the radar for the last two years after impressing at Under-23 level and with 3 appearances for the senior side in the league cup.
Whilst not wanting to be dismissive of the youngster’s promise, he simply will not develop by playing under-23 football alone. Indeed, there are big question marks over whether the format either improves or prepares young players for first team football sufficiently.
Hayes is reported to have caught the attention of a number of lower league clubs, who are interested in bolstering their squads with the Irish U-21 international for the second half of the 2018/19 campaign.
With Villa urgently reviewing their goalkeeping options due to Orjan Nyland’s erratic performances, Karl Darlow remains a strong candidate for a switch to Villa Park.
The 28 year old Newcastle United keeper, who was once a trainee at B6, is reported to want to play first team football after falling out of favour on Tyneside.
Darlow currently commands a £4m price tag and Villa will face stiff competition for his signature that could result in an unwanted bidding war. Leeds United and Nottingham Forest, promotion rivals at the time of writing, are known to have shortlisted the goalkeeper too.
Whilst Dean Smith has been professional in his public comments regarding current ‘keeper Nyland, the Norwegian’s displays and errors have cost the team priceless points all season. These are the fine margins that will force Smith to identify a replacement with Darlow and Burnley’s Tom Heaton currently the front-runners.
Established in 2011 - The Villa Underground is an independent Aston Villa social-blog & website. Featuring pre-match discussion, post match reaction, opinion, satire, a podcast, news & social media comment on all matters affecting AVFC.