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Aston Villa

Ritchie De Laet has now been dropped by his loan club

The Aston Villa defender is now struggling for football at Antwerp.

Mathew Nash

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Photo: Getty Images

When Aston Villa started to make wholesale improvements to the squad in the summer of 2016 they went on a spending spree bringing in talent good enough for the Premier League. One man they snapped up was even a Premier League winner the season before.

Ritchie De Laet was snapped up in the summer of 2016 after a season in which he won both the Premier League with Leicester City and promotion with Middlesbrough whilst on loan.

Considering he had also won promotion with Leicester in 2014, he looked the perfect addition to the Aston Villa fold.

Unfortunately, that has not proved to be the case.

The Belgian defender, who cost a fee reported by The Sun to be in the region of £2.5 million, was earmarked as the solution to Villa’s problem position of right-back.

However, De Laet never managed to have any sustained impact at Villa. He played just three times in his first season at the club before picking up a knee injury against Brentford. He was subsequently ruled out for the rest of the season.

This term he managed to feature sporadically through the first-half of the season but in January found himself out of contention. The 29-year-old was therefore sent out on loan to his boyhood club Royal Antwerp until the end of the season.

He immediately went into the starting XI for the Belgian side but has recently been dropped for the Europa League play-off fixtures.

It comes after a switch to 3-5-2 from his loan club, who have preferred to play Benfica loanee Aurelio Buta at right wing-back ahead of De Laet.

(Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images)

This will certainly not have been the plan for De Laet, who will have hoped to have found his best form again in Belgium. However, it has not been that straightforward and he now finds himself on the bench.

This summer will be interesting for De Laet. It certainly does not seem as though Steve Bruce sees him as an Aston Villa player in the future. If the Villans can also capture promotion, it is expected new faces will arrive to push De Laet even further down the pecking order.

Thriving out on loan might have changed the mind of a few figures at Villa Park.

But seeing as he is not even an immediate starter with Antwerp, Aston Villa will likely consider him dispensable in the summer.

Aston Villa

Keeping Henri Lansbury could be blessing in disguise for Aston Villa

Aston Villa cannot find a buyer for the midfield maestro.

Mathew Nash

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Aston Villa’s financial troubles this summer seem to have them ready to sell some of their high-earners and more valuable assets.

The Mirror report today that midfielders Mile Jedinak and Birkir Bjarnason could be out the door this summer, with Jack Grealish currently in talks with Tottenham Hotspur.

However, the same report suggests Henri Lansbury will be sticking around.

However, it does not seem that Aston Villa want to keep him.

The report claims they will only be keeping the £2.7 million midfielder because nobody is willing to pay up to sign the player or take on his £40k-a-week wages.

(Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)

It is certainly no surprise to hear that Aston Villa want to offload Lansbury. He struggled to play a part in Steve Bruce’s plans after joining from Nottingham Forest.

Last season he played just 10 times for the club and has struggled since arriving at Villa Park.

But fans of Aston Villa must remember just how impressive a player Lansbury has been in the Championship.

In the 2015-16 season, there was a case to say that the then-Forest midfielder was the best in the division. In fact, many neutrals would have suggested that Lansbury was the Championship’s best midfielder just two years ago.

It could be that keeping Lansbury will be a blessing in disguise for Aston Villa. If he can find his Forest form, then he will be like a new signing for the club.

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Aston Villa

As Tottenham close in on Jack Grealish, Daniel Levy’s hard bargaining should be applauded

The Villa youngster could be set for a late move to Spurs.

Max Cohen

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Jack Grealish
Photo: Getty Images

According to the Mirror, Tottenham Hotspur are closing in on signing Aston Villa midfielder Jack Grealish ahead of their summer tour of the United States.

The signing has been left late in the window, much to the annoyance of Spurs fans, but Daniel Levy’s hard bargaining should be applauded as Tottenham seem set to buy Grealish for far less than Villa originally asked for.

The Mirror claimed that the Championship club initially were holding out for £40 million, but now they are willing to sell for around half of that amount.

If Spurs were to pinch the creative mastermind from Villa Park for around £20 million that would represent superb business, considering the inflated transfer market for young British talents.

Although the Levy’s style is immensely frustrating at times, there can be no arguing that a bargain of this magnitude is well worth waiting for.

If Tottenham had done their business too early on in the window, they could have been left paying far too much for the former English U-21 international.

But as the summer months progressed, news of Aston Villa’s financial woes increased. Given the new information, Spurs were put in a much stronger position as they knew Villa would be desperate to sell in order to offload Grealish’s high wages and rein in a transfer fee.

The north Londoners look primed to welcome one of the Championship’s finest midfield technicians to White Hart Lane, and at only 22 years of age, Grealish has time on his side to develop into a world class player.

Daniel Levy’s tough negotiating style is not ideal for most circumstances and rightfully draws the ire of the Tottenham faithful. Yet his bargaining nous has come in handy during the Jack Grealish saga, granting Spurs a much-improved deal.

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Aston Villa

Forgotten man Ritchie De Laet could play important role for Aston Villa

Aston Villa may have to give a second chance to the 29-year-old.

Mathew Nash

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When Aston Villa snapped up Premier League winner Ritchie De Laet from Leicester City in the summer of 2016 it looked a great deal. He arrived after a season in which he won both the Premier League with Leicester City and promotion with Middlesbrough whilst on loan.

Considering he had also won promotion with Leicester in 2014, he looked a perfect addition for Aston Villa at just £2.5 million.

However, De Laet struggled. He played just three times in his first season at the club before picking up a knee injury against Brentford. He was subsequently ruled out for the rest of the campaign.

Last season he featured sporadically through the first-half of the season but in January was sent out on loan to his boyhood club Royal Antwerp until the end of the season.

(Photo by Ross Kinnaird/Getty Images)

That deal proved to be unsuccessful as well. The Belgian side decided not to bring in De Laet permanently after a struggle of a loan campaign which eventually saw him dropped.

But Aston Villa should embrace the fact the 29-year-old is back. Considering they need to sell highly-marketable players this summer, keeping De Laet on board would be wise.

He can play at left-back, right-back and on the wing. Add to that his excellent experience of winning promotion and Aston Villa need to keep him on board.                                                                                                                    

De Laet could be like a new signing for Aston Villa.

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