Aston Villa’s post-relegation rebuild took another step forward yesterday, with the news that their £12 million bid for Ross McCormack had been accepted by Fulham. Widely regarded as the best player in the Championship, McCormack scored 38 league goals in 89 appearances for the Cottagers; a ratio made more impressive when you consider that Fulham were usually nearer the bottom of the league than the top. The Scot’s trusty left foot is also the source of wicked dead-ball delivery, and he is an excellent taker of direct free kicks.
Villains supporters will be pleased that new owner Tony Xia is putting his money where his mouth is, and McCormack’s goalscoring prowess and creativity will indeed be a major asset for the upcoming season. Every Championship side will see Villa as a prized scalp, especially at Villa Park, and McCormack has the guile to help Villa break down stiff opposition.
Many scoffed when Fulham paid £11 million for him from Leeds two summers ago, but it is a sign of the times that they could still turn a small profit.
McCormack has had a curious career in the sense that he has always been regarded as one of the Championship’s brightest talents, yet no Premier League club has taken the bait. He has scored 166 goals in 260 Football League starts, but at 29 years of age, he might have thought he had missed the boat as far as Premier League football is concerned.
However, he now has a chance to write himself into Villa Park folklore by propelling Villa straight back up and finally give himself a chance of playing in the top flight.
The former Leeds man is Roberto Di Matteo’s fourth summer singing, having already recruited Pierluigi Gollini from Italian side Hellas Verona, Reading midfielder Aaron Tshibola and Bournemouth captain Tommy Elphick. Following the loss of Idrissa Gueye to Everton though, Di Matteo will be keen to bring in further reinforcements before the end of the window.
Here is how Twitter reacted to Aston Villa singing Ross McCormack:
As you might expect, most Villa supporters were delighted:
Some resorted to gallows humour:
While some credited Ian Holloway, following his recent criticism of Xia:
One switched-on follower noted that McCormack tends to go wherever there’s turmoil:
Some were perturbed by the transfer fee, opting for the ‘world’s gone mad’ stance:
Featured image: All rights reserved by David Galpin