Latest: Berbatov OFF, Adebeyor STALLS, Richards CAPTAIN, Cissokho to PORTO. #avfc

All the latest Aston Villa news and rumour as we reach approach the season opener against Bournemouth this Saturday:

After weeks of speculation and apparent imminence to the arrival of Adebeyor from Spurs, some media outlets are now carrying that we are stepping aside.  A number of factors have swayed matters, the drawn out nature of the affair from Villa’s perspective and Adebeyor’s reluctance to move to the Midlands.  

If any deal happens it has to be on Villa’s terms – and many wouldn’t be overly concerned if this deal passed us by.

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The same can probably be said of recent links to Dimitar Berbatov.  After also a number of strong links to the player in recent days Villa have pulled the plug on this deal and will pursue other options.  For me, Berbatov is a luxury player, the type that teams such as Fulham paid dearly for being reliant upon in a season that included rugged displays.  

If Villa were pushing for greater heights, Berbatov might be an option amongst many strikers.  As it stands, we need something different.

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Sherwood has also announced that Micah Richards will captain the Villa side this season – with Gabby assuming club captain role.

Richard’s may be a surprise choice for many, particularly with the emergence of Ciaran Clark.  However, Sherwood has identified Richards’ winning mentality, vocal nature on the pitch and referred to the defender as a fresh start.  

There aren’t many issues to pick with this and in a summer of changes, this is one which makes a lot of sense.  In Richard’s Villa have a Captain who has won things, real honours.  He is a talker, a personality – and with games under his belt could be a genuine steal for our football club.  I, like many, look forward to watching him command the back line.

In unsurprising news Aly Cissokho has departed Villa on a season long loan to Porto.  Cissokho has been an immensely disappointing and inconsistent figure since transferring to Villa last year from Valencia for £3.5m.  I recall at the time Liverpool fans remarking about how initially impressed they were with him, only to see his form trail of to leave them wondering why on earth he was signed.

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It was a frighteningly similar tale for Cissokho at Villa.  After initial promise, his form nosedived and his inclusions in the squad waned.  Whilst I never felt his defending was as bad as others we’ve had in recent years, where Aly really fell down was his awful distribution over the half way line.  

We have had some poor crossers of a football at Villa, but few as bad as Cissokho.  His zero attacking attributes, combined with shaky overall displays, have led him directly to the exit.  In an astonishing coup for Cissokho he has managed to negotiate himself a year at Champions League side Porto.  However, his presence is unlikely to be missed at Villa Park this term.