Updated Summer Transfer Targets


On the 16th April, regarding potential Aston Villa Summer signings, I wrote this:

Michael Carrick:

I can’t believe I just wrote this player’s name. Constantly a source of negative criticism (heavy criticism) from yours truly, I’m extremely disappointed in myself that I have turned my back on such strong beliefs. Too often, Carrick is happy to play safe and return the ball to centre back or pass the buck to his central midfield partner. He’s a player who doesn’t seem to want to make something happen, someone who doesn’t seem to want responsibility, and thus someone who hides from the ball…

However, I then went on to explain why I thought Carrick would make a great addition to our first team squad and was quoted as saying that he could bring “panache and more ability to change games” for our top-4-challenging outfit. For this, I am extremely regretful and I would like to rescind any positive word I have had to say about this player, and indeed any wild claim I may have made that he could be of any use to Aston Villa. Instead, if everyone could please refer to the first cut-out on this piece and my 4 years of relentless slandering when trying to work out my thoughts on the former Spurs man.

Not only is it laughable that he was even selected for the squad off the back of his poorest season to date; but the fact that Michael Carrick was given 62 minutes to ply his underprivileged trade for the national team in their penultimate game before the World Cup defies all logic. With Gareth Barry injured, Carrick was ridiculously given another chance to shine, but instead opted to once again cower in the shadows. All season long (and less noticeably, the previous 3 seasons – because Utd were winning), the 28 year old has been rushing his passes, sinking deep, and turning his back to the ball (I’m no manager but I’d hazard a guess that this isn’t a good thing for a central midfield player to be doing). Moreover, when ‘M.C’ reluctantly receives possession in the opponents third, he uses all his skill and effort to scramble the ball backwards to his partner, or slow the whole thing down and push it out to a marked wide man. Shirking responsibility, dripping with anxious sweat and bringing nothing but the sideways dimensions of a timid crab to the country’s biggest club, it’s an embarrassing disgrace that the legendary Old Trafford number 16 was handed down to Michael Carrick.

By the way: I don’t want Villa to sign him anymore…

The fact that I suggested him in the first place goes a long way to questioning my player judgement, and it certainly undermines the integrity of this blog! And the next name on the list of my Villa targets, unfortunately, doesn’t help my case: Branislav Ivanovic. Yes, wouldn’t that be a lovely addition? It also looks like Cesc Fabregas is unsettled in London so we should be tapping into that market as well, shouldn’t we? In fairness, at the time of writing; Ivanovic, as quality a player he is, was certainly not in Chelsea’s long term first team plans. With Belletti, Essien, Mikel, Paulo Ferreira and Bosingwa; Ancelotti had, in my mind, 5 other players in line to step onto the pitch ahead of Ivanovic (and the Yugoslavian still wouldn’t get into Chelsea’s strongest XI). Little did I know, however, that the secret was already out; that everyone knew of his talent and that he was then going to go and win a place in the PFA Team of the Year. I think it’s clear that Ivanovic will have other, more fulfilling options on his plate than Aston Villa; and at that, I don’t think we could even afford to lure him anyway.

Moving on, as time has slipped by; I have become increasingly unenthused by the prospect of Kris Boyd and could see why the masses of fans would do too. Nevertheless, upon further reading of my first transfer article, I can see why I suggested him. With a goal in almost every 1.3 games, at 26, and available for under £3m, I do think it is a brainless purchase for a team with a terminal ability to finish.

Another goal for Kevin Doyle on Tuesday night furthers my belief that he could do twice the job Emile Heskey does; but as Wolverhampton’s main man, I’d be very wary of his price tag. I wonder if we could execute a swap deal with Mick McCarthy’s men, and if so, I hope they don’t realise what they’re giving out and what they’re taking off us in return.

Loan Sharks

I’m delighted to see the spread of the Keane-to-Villa talk and I stand by my other wish list target Rafael Da Silva. I would also be interested in the acquisition of twin brother Fabio (on loan as well) as they are two great ball players who could add different dimensions to our predictable attack from wingback and allow MON to change things around when we’re having trouble breaking teams down (particularly at home).

More importantly, I fully believe that Aston Villa can actually benefit from the uncontrollable spending of Manchester City. As their squad grows bigger and more expensive, it pushes quality (but less luxurious) names closer to the fringes with each transfer window; and I think in Aston Villa, these 6 suggestions (5 of which are homegrown) could find the haven and assurance of a club with the same ambitions. Shaun Wright-Phillips, and all his inconsistencies, would still provide an excellent option in a squad who use just two wingers. Likewise, Martin Petrov has serious, serious talent and despite being 31, he would be an inspired addition to any team, at any time in the game. The signing of these two players would also mean that we would have 4 dangerous wingers (2 right footed; 2 left footed) battling it out for just 2 positions, and helping MON affect real change in match situations, aside from his customary ‘Heskey for Carew’ trick (or vice versa if he’s feeling bold).

Stephen Ireland should be the main target

Moreover, the constant desire to splash the cash at Eastlands could result in City’s disillusioned sub-24 club turning their heads and having a look at the thriving, young, and British based players helping Villa keep up to speed in the Premier League rat race. Players like Nedum Onouha, Micah Richards, and Michael Johnson can only be impressed with how well O’Neill has developed the careers of compatriots Gareth Barry, James Milner, Ashley Young, Gabby Agbonlahor and Curtis Davies; and to be offered the prospect of plying your trade on a regular basis for a top 6 club with a strong English core, must surely be tempting to these young international hopefuls. And in spite of his price tag, the 23 year old Stephen Ireland is, in my opinion, set to take his place amongst some of the Premier League greats. Technically gifted and an inescapable thorn in the opposition’s side, want-away Ireland would definitely prove to be an absolute bargain as City refuse to acknowledge what’s in their midst.

Having retracted some names from my earlier wish-list, I have now proposed the signature of 11 players. It may be audacious to ask for this; but considering the outgoing staff we will record, the fact that we played the fewest number of players (again) in the league, and the speed at which the other clubs are looking to step on, we need to really consider immensely boosting the supply to our first XI, if we are to fulfil Mr Lerner’s Champions League objectives. 

Transfers In Estimated Spend Transfers Out Estimated Income
Rafael da Silva Loan Luke Young £3m
Fabio da Silva Loan Nicky Shorey £3m
Nedum Onouha £6m Carlos Cuellar £6.5m
Micah Richards £10m Habid Beye £1m
Michael Johnson £8m Steve Sidwell £4m
Stephen Ireland £10m Marlon Harewood £1m
Shaun Wright-Phillips £7m Emile Heskey £2m
Martin Petrov £2.5m    
Robbie Keane £10m    
Kris Boyd £2.5m    
Kevin Doyle £7.5m    
  £63.5m   £20.5m

The ‘Estimated Spend’ is simply what I would value each player at (based on their previous transfers, age and status) and if I was manager, what I would fork out for each. The ‘Estimated Income’ (which includes some players I don’t want to see leaving) is purely what I think we could hold off for and receive for each.

So I’m asking for good old Randy to dip into his pockets and find £43m lying around!

This, of course, would probably be too much to expect (although he did say if the right opportunity arose for a world-class player, then he could finance it) even though City and Spurs are likely to dominate the market again. On another note, I have suggested players of similar quality and position and if needs be, we could quite easily just choose 3 out of the 6 City players: one of Onouha and Richards; one of Johnson and Ireland; and one of SWP and Petrov. And although I would love to see all 6 coming on board, if we disregarded 3 of these players, that could save up to £27m (bringing the net spend tally right down to £16m).

I also refused to put the names of my two favourite players into the ‘Transfers Out’ Column. We are all aware of the potential revenue a James Milner sale could provide and I don’t care if he is 30, I would expect a respectable price tag to be put on the services of our most experienced player and most talented striker John Carew. With the sale of these two, we could finance my wish-list and then some. But in an ideal world, Villa would look to keep every player not listed in the table, and add them to the quality of my proposed transfer targets. Do that; and I think in the near future, a top 4 finish will be the most modest of our dreams. But whether we can do that this summer; remains to be seen.



Filed under Transfer Talk, Uncategorized

4 responses to “Updated Summer Transfer Targets

  1. Liam Doherty

    very interesting, if slightly fanciful reading mr doherty. as a massive fan of the o’neill-lerner combination at aston villa i’d love to believe that your table of ins and outs could become a reality, but i do have a few problems with accepting that it could materialize. top of the list; the da silva twins. fabio is fergies only natural cover for evra (assuming o’shea starts in the opposite corner) and i would be astounded if rafael was allowed to leave given that the subsequent cover for o’shea would amount to a 35 yr old in neville, 2 centre midfielders in hargreaves and fletcher or a defender that has an average playing time of 3 to 4 minutes before getting injured in wes brown. i also think 7.5m for wolves’ (if not their only then certainly their best player) is a bit under priced. finally who in their right mind do you expect to pay money (let alone 7 figures worth) for marlon harewood.

  2. Hi Liam

    Can I firstly just say how humbled I am to know that an esteemed published writer, such as yourself, is a regular follower of the blog.

    As much as I don’t think the twins should be given out for the year (and as much as I am aware of the unreliability of the other 3 full backs), I think (I hope) Sir Alex will see the situation as having 4 more experienced full backs (2 for right, 2 for left) to cater for any loss through injury or suspension. And the re-emergence of club captain Neville into the fold shows that Rafael is not yet as high up the pecking order as you would hope. I think Evra’s Friedel-esc consistency would be enough for Utd to give Fabio a run of games for another club – at least with a callback option if deemed necessary.

    And as today’s recent news has thrown up talk that Wolves are about to sign Steven Fletcher for £7.5m, maybe my estimation of Doyle isn’t too far off the mark.

    I’d rather not discuss Marlon Harewood as I’ll only get upset.

  3. True Villan

    I agree with a lot more of the stuff you say on your site than Damian (i swear the guys never been to villa park) off the villa blog. However i see some glaring errors in some of the points you have made. Such as you listed your team for next season and put in different formations and tactics. Ive been to every single home game whilst Oneill has been in charge and i have seen no evidence of him ever changing a line up to suit the opposition or a plan b to beat teams. Its four four two all the way, unless injurys force us into 4-5-1 (ive seen the best perofmances under this formation). There is no way we could have those extra players in our first 11 and a quality bench as Oneill does not rotate so we would probably have a mutiny by November. You havent included Reo coker on players out, when as much as i dont want Oneill to sell him, he seems intent on forcing him out of the club. Oneill will never sell Cuellar, he continued playing him out of position and out of form all last season, which i think puts him under the Oneill “favourite” category. The only realistic way your getting the spending you would like is if Milner goes, and i can assure you the only thing you have right is that all the players will be from the premier league/english football. I can see us maybe getting Keane, however i would brace yourself for the likes of Zamora, and other deals that might produce some banging of heads against walls.

    Some of your valuations are well out, such as Doyle as mentioned above, but also Johnson has had horrendous injurys so regardless of his clear talent £8 million, no chance. I dont understand why people rate richards ahead of Onouha when Onouha played last year richards did not. Plus Onuoha has signed a long deal with them and is a manchester lad. Richards isa brummie but would be much more inclined to join a London club (big arsenal fan).

    I pray Heskey goes, i’d help him pack his bags and drive the mule to the other club if i could. We need a right back, a covering left back, a central midfielder that can score and create goals consistently, an extra winger who could preferably play on both wings to give Downing and Ashley a kick up the arse if they are playing rubbish, and a striker who can score goals. Keane might actually tick two of those boxes, however spurs tend to try and mug us off whenever we go in for there players. I think some players in our team take their place for granted and know that Oneill will persevere with them even when they play poorly, get knocks or are just plain tired. I hope Oneill finally learns his lesson regarding playing the same players over and over and them running out of steam at the business end of the season, but unfortunately i have no faith that he will learn this lesson. Plus it would be nice if he actually gave some of the talented crop of young talent we have at the club a chance, as he hasnt done this at all, except when he gives up on europe or the early stages of the cups.

    My hopes, if Milner goes we get Ireland. The guy will be more effective and influential for us in the long run im sure. A player i would be really tempted to take off Man city would be Hart as well, as although he has played for the noses, i think he could be our keeper for the next 15 years, tough on Guzan, but unfortunately this is about whats best for villa. Petrov on a free would be nice, hopefully stan could help us seal that one, and id like to nab parker of west ham aswell as having Ireland, as personally i think Reo Coker will go, Delph unfortunately is out for a long time, so Stan, Parker and Ireland fighting for a spot in the middle would be good competition. How Oneill could set villa up if he actually went with our most successfull formation 4-5-1/4-3-3

    V D Wiel Dunne Collins Warnock
    A young S Petrov Ireland M Petrov

    I think that team could really go for it next year. What would my dream, never gonna happen changes for next year.

    V D Wiel Dunne Collins Warnock

    A Young Flamini Ireland zhirkov
    Gabby +
    Henry(ok i am dreaming)
    D Bent (he would join us but sunderland wouldnt want to and dont need to sell)
    Bojan on loan from Barca
    Vagner Love
    Robbie Keane (might be possible)

    OK we can all dream i guess.

  4. Yeah, those teams I put forth for next season are not what I think will happen; they’re just what I would do if I had my say.

    I think Reo Coker said he will see out his contract (which is up at the end of next season if I’m correct), and I would also be sad to see him leave so hopefully he can be used a bit more next year.

    I know O’Neill uses the same players tirelessly, and it does catch up on us; but I think this is just out of lack of trust in the rest of the squad. I think Luke Young and Reo Coker should be used more; but apart from that, there isn’t any other player in the squad that I think could do a good enough job to help us with our improved ambitions (Curtis Davies suffered from a big injury of course). The squad players we have now were good to get us where we are today, but as we get stronger there is less need for them.
    MON has stressed the need to rotate the team so, with another summer ahead, he will have another chance to progress the names on our squad and knock the flailing players further down the pecking order.

    I think you’ll have trouble packing Heskey’s bags as I’m sure to beat anyone to that post!

    Great comment

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