In the summer of 2016, Aston Villa splashed out £3 million on the Bournemouth defender Tommy Elphick. It looked a good deal for the side, who were looking to build a team capable of winning promotion from the Championship.
But it has been tough at Villa Park for the 31-year-old. Despite initially being made the club captain he soon slipped out of the Aston Villa side and was loaned out to Reading for the second half of last season.
This summer Elphick was again told he could leave the club. He went on to join Hull City on loan until the end of the season. Now, whilst the Tigers may sit bottom of the Championship at present, the pick of the bunch at the KCOM Stadium has been Elphick.
He has been one of the only shining lights in recent weeks, as Nigel Adkins side struggle to get a run of form together in the second-tier.
It has even led to calls from some Hull fans to have him take over from Markus Henriksen as captain.
— TFS Hull City (@TFS_HullCity) 4 October 2018
Elphick IS a captain! Vocal, commanding and experience. Henriksen is timid, below average and weak!
— Asa 🧡🖤 hcafc (@asa_medforth) 30 September 2018
Tommy Elphick has been superb today for #hcafc
— HCAFC Highlights (@HighlightsHCAFC) 6 October 2018
Aston Villa, meanwhile, look desperately short at centre-back. Yesterday, with James Chester suspended, caretaker manager Kevin McDonald had to field Axel Tuanzebe and Alan Hutton at the heart of a makeshift defence.
With options thin, it is still baffling that Aston Villa allowed Elphick to leave, even if his form for the club has never been convincing.
Aston Villa would have been better off keeping him around.