Enda an era; Bent & Stevens OUT.  Vlaar next? £150m Bid & last chance for Herd. #avfc

What a busy time at Villa Park:

Big news.  Darren Bent has been released after years in the footballing wilderness.  Our once record £24 million pound goal machine will take a free transfer to Derby County and ply his trade in the Championship next season.

It marks an end to a nightmare scenario for all concerned.  Bent was brought in to feed off the creativity then oozing from a Villa squad underachieving.  However, when those names and assists moved on the goals dried up.  Bent immediately became a castaway under more austere times and found himself an outcast under Paul Lambert.

After a brief return with other “bomb squad” figures, Bent was swiftly shipped back out to Derby where he enjoyed a fine goal return.  Mat Kendrick puts the estimated cost of buying and paying Bent for 4 and half years at nearly £43 million pounds.  If the figure is even remotely close, it’s a scandal given the return the club received.  It also brings into serious question who authorised such a crippling & burdensome deal?

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Enda Stevens, originally snapped up from Shamrock Rovers has been released by the club.  After making just 9 appearances in 3 years & having spent last season out on loan at Doncaster Rovers, his services have been dispensed with.  That’s it for the 24 year old Irish fullback, whose Villa career never really looked like getting going at all.

Slightly off the radar is that Graham Burke has also been released.  Burke appeared once in a 3-0 league cup win over Tranmere in 2012 but also failed to make the grade.

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The same fate appears to have been spared for Chris Herd.  A player, who at 26 can no longer be thought of as a youngster, has made just 42 appearances since joining the senior squad in 2010.  Despite his bad fortune of suffering a knee ligament injury whilst on loan, this has to be last chance saloon for the once promising Aussie.

Ron Vlaar is making all the right noises in the press as he looks to engineer a move away from Villa Park.  Villa have now offered “Playdough Ron” a deal, whilst he has stated that he can “go higher”.  Well, it’s a wonder Villa didn’t go lower given his stewardship of the back line and frequent absence through injury.  Move along Ron.

The Telegraph have also reported that Randy Lerner has granted exclusivity to a bidder with a view to a £150 million pound deal being struck within 6 weeks.  There can be no doubt, that for all of the gestures of goodwill and thought Randy has put into the club, it has badly lost its way on the field.  We all just hope that for all the wrong calls he’s made along the way, that he gets this one right.

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