The latest transfer news and speculation for Aston Villa on Thursday 2nd July.
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The former Brentford and Blues midfielder has been a peripheral figure since switching to Villa Park last summer.
Whilst swapping Jota for Gary Gardner even now seems like reasonable business, the truth is that the Spaniard has contributed very little since his arrival.
Hampered by the immediate need for a double hernia operation, Jota’s only real moment of memorable quality was a defence splitting past to assist Wesley in scoring the opener in a Villa win over Everton (2-0). Believe it or not, that was eleven months ago! [August 2019]. Where has that time gone?!
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Jota played through the pain barrier, but looked a shadow of the player routinely seen unlocking defences in the Championship. An enforced layoff to address the underlying hernias ensued.
Since a return to fitness and with the Premier League restarted, the graduate of Celta Vigo’s youth system has featured only sparingly. This despite Villa’s lack of attacking threat and the pedestrian pace of the restart games, which you would have thought would suit the tricky midfielder.
Jota’s future at the club does remain unclear, what with his injury issues and lack of preference from the coaching staff.
It should probably be of no surprise to learn that there were interested parties to take him on loan given his Championship level pedigree, with reports that Nottingham Forest and Fulham made enquiries. SPL side Celtic were also rebutted.
Villa will have difficult decisions ahead with many players, Jota being a perfect example of the club’s indifferent summer recruitment following promotion via the playoffs.
If we should manage to survive, can the likes of Jota be realistically depended upon to retain and establish Villa in the top flight?
Equally, can we risk relying upon Jota refinding his early career form in any Championship promotion campaign, in the event of relegation?
Hogan has been parked in the minds of many, having had rather lacklustre loans to Sheffield United and Stoke throughout 2019. He has continued his exile after failing to impress at Villa, making a surprise move on loan to Blues during 2020.
Hogan had raised a few eyebrows at St Andrews and prior to lockdown had rediscovered some of the goalscoring form that earned him a big money move from Brentford to Villa in January 2017. Indeed, he’d bagged 7 goals in 8 appearances before football was halted.
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The Irish internationals form since football has resumed hasn’t been nearly as impressive, with a distinct lack of touches, shots on target or indeed, shots of any discription. Has he reverted to type once again?
As with Jota, Hogan’s future and Villa’s hand could be forced by what happens in the remaining 6 Premier League games.
Whilst few at Villa Park would consider Hogan the future, if we are relegated, our options will be limited. There is also the issue that Hogan is under contract until 2021/22, on big money, meaning that moving him on before then is unlikely.
Ironically, we might even consider moving him on to a Championship rival as too risky, whilst scratching our heads as to whether we try to rehabilitate him ourselves.
What is clear is that Hogan will remain at Blues until the culmination of the Covid extended campaign.
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