It looks as though Scott Hogan’s under-whelming stay at Villa Park is drawing to a close, with reports indicating that the striker is under-going a medical at Sheffield United.
Hogan, a big money signing stolen from Dean Smith whilst he was at Brentford, has been plagued by injury, lack of confidence and erratic form during his two-year stay at Villa.
Though recurring injury has been a symptom of Hogan’s career, it has also been frustrating to watch Villa’s inability to utilise his strengths nor rehabilitate a classic ‘confidence’ striker when he has been available.
Whilst the former Brentford man has badly lost his way on the field, cutting a disinterested figure at a time when the club could use an able partner for Tammy Abraham, there has to be an element of sympathy.
Indeed, Hogan arrived at the club with a proven goalscoring record at Championship level. Further, he was in top form at Brentford when he made the deadline day switch in 2017. However, in truth, he has rarely looked the part, but then, was the Irish international properly utilised??
My abiding memory will be that two things never clicked for Scott Hogan at Aston Villa.
Firstly, he was thrust into a Villa team that simply didn’t play to his strength of lurking upon the shoulder of the last man and looking to run the gaps. As a collective, we were absolutely hopeless at reading those moments where Hogan positioned himself, let alone making the telling pass upon which he’d thrived previously.
Secondly, Hogan stopped moving in the manner that had previously made him so potent at Brentford. And with it, he looked distinctly average, almost poor. This combination, coupled to injury and having Tammy Abraham for mere comparison, made it a fruitless task for the 26 year old.
See odds on Hogan’s proposed moved to Sheffield United at freebetshub.com
Whilst a proposed move away is perhaps the least surprising news, the fact that he stands to join a Championship promotion ‘rival’ on loan for the rest of the campaign does raise an eyebrow.
Villa are arguably at a make or break point of the season, urgently needing to build momentum towards a playoff push, thus it seems a calculated gamble to consider offloading him to a side competing above us.
Sheffield United are again proving an organised Championship outfit, with the addition of Hogan, who has goals in him at this level, appearing a risk worth taking on their part.
An additional consideration may be that Villa are looking to maximise available wages for any incoming signings before the January transfer window closes.
Whilst the burden of Yannick Bolasies £80k per week loan wage has been lifted following his return to Everton, Hogan’s 35k per week is in itself considerable.
One wonders if these funds will now be diverted to other targets, or if this represents cautious forward planning as the club ponders the prospect of another season potentially outside of the top flight.