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AVFC V Spurs 2019/20 – Where are they now?


AVFC V Spurs 2019/20 – where are they now?

Aston Villa were welcomed back to the Premier League from a three season hiatus by Tottenham Hotspur. It looked to be the perfect return with Play Off final scorer John McGinn finding the net nine minutes in. An equalizer from Tanguy Ndombele and two late goals from Harry Kane left Villa with a 3-1 loss in what proved to be a challenging first season back. But who remains from the starting XI and who has since moved on?

GK: Tom Heaton – Aston Villa

A summer signing from Burnley in the build up to Villa’s homecoming, Tom Heaton was a real sign of intent to not only survive but thrive in the English top flight. Best known for THAT performance against Manchester United, the England shot stopper joined with an impressive reputation. Heaton’s return to Turf Moor ended early, a season ending knee injury forced him off early against his former club and left him out until November 2020.A rather fitting return came as he featured for Villa’s U23s against Burnley U23s but Heaton has been unable to win back his starting berth from the superb Emiliano Martinez, and has been left with a space on the bench.

LB: Neil Taylor – Aston Villa

A man with 145 Premier League appearances to his name but none in the 2020/21 season. Neil Taylor was displaced from the Villa line up by Matt Targett who was at the club for the Tottenham game but only made the bench. A hamstring injury for Targett saw Taylor play fourteen times during the 2019/20 season, gaining three wins and falling to nine losses. Taylor has played three times in the Carabao Cup this season, with a clean sheet in a 3-0 win against Bristol City, a 3-1 win against Burton Albion and a 1-0 loss to Stoke.

CB: Tyrone Mings – Aston Villa

An ever present in Dean Smith’s side, Tyrone Mings joined permanently in the summer with a fee belived to be between £20m and £25m paid to Bournemouth. Mings went on to play 33 times in the 2019/20 season, the only ever present in a shaky back four with eventually kept Villa in the Premier League. Mings is the only member of the back five (including the goalkeeper) to start the first game of the 2020/21 season, a 1-0 win at home to Sheffield United, and in the 3-1 cup win against Burton earlier in the month. Mings has also made seven England appearances since the Tottenham game too.

CB: Björn Engels – Aston Villa

Reims had only owned Engles for five months before his switch to Villa, with the French side triggering the option to buy from their loan agreement. Reims left the option for Engels to go to any Premier League side that made a considerable offer and so his troubled English adventure began. The Belgian was a consistent starter at the beginning of the season but soon lost out. An FA Cup loss was the last we saw of a flat back four and the last we saw of the Belgian defender. Engels made seventeen appearances in the 2019/20 season but is yet to play in 2020/21 or in the new look back three.

RB: Ahmed Elmohamady – Aston Villa

The second full back on the pitch and the second to be starting over a new signing, (admittedly he signed in January 2019 but joined fully in the summer) Elmo has gone from winning the battle over Guilbert to losing his place to Matty Cash. The veteran defender has given his all in his four years in claret and blue and along with Grealish is one the senior members of the squad and a great servant to the club. Elmo made eighteen appearances in 19/20 and three so far this season.

CDM: Conor Hourihane – Swansea City

The Irish set piece wizard played a key part in Villa’s survival, scoring three goals in twenty seven games and providing five assists through his free kicks and corners. Hourihane has played a smaller part this season with four appearances to his name and one goal and one assist to his name. The midfielder moved to Swansea City on loan in the January transfer window. The Welsh side are battling it out at the top of The Championship and Hourihane will looking for another promotion to the Premier League.

LW: Anwar El Ghazi – Aston Villa

The flying Dutchman has seen somewhat of a resurgence in his Villa career as of late, scoring five goals in nine games up to Villa’s season being halted by a coronavirus outbreak. The inform man bagged against Chelsea, Crystal Palace and West Brom as Dean Smiths solidified their top half credentials. The 2019/20 season was less clinical for El Ghazi who has already equaled last season’s tally which took thirty four games to amass. It’s unlikely that Anwar will be going anywhere any time soon.

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CM: Jack Grealish – Aston Villa

What do we really need so say? Villa’s captain, leader and legend. Super Jack scored the goal that guaranteed safety and found the net eight times in 2019/20 and a further five goals so far in 2020/21. Grealish has been the catalyst for Villa’s success, integral in their promotion to the top flight, their subsequent survival and now their new found success.

CM: John McGinn – Aston Villa

Super John McGinn, Villa’s goal scorer on the day and midfield powerhouse all year round. Villa looked lost without the Scotsman after he broke his ankle early on in a 3-1 loss to Southampton in December 2019. His original three month timeframe would have left Villa without him for most of the rest of the season but the break in play and Project Restart meant McGinn was able to return to rescue Villa.

RW: Trezeguet – Aston Villa

Another summer signing and another player that remains at Villa Park. Mahmoud Ahmed Ibrahim Hassan, better known as Trezeguet, joined from Kasimpasa and has been linked with moves back to Turkey often, yet he remains in Birmingham still. Trez (as some call him) played 34 times in the 2019/20 season, scoring six goals. He famously scored that goal in a 1-0 win against Arsenal which was an instrumental win for Villa’s survival. As it stands he’s played nine times this season and is yet to score.

ST: Wesley – Aston Villa

The final player in the starting XI and the continuation of all players on the pitch at kick off still being at Aston Villa. Villa’s at the time record signing joined from Club Brugge and had a shaky start to life in the Premier League. He opened his account with the first goal in a 2-0 win over Everton in his third match. In his 21 league appearances he scored five goals but was a victim of a poor tackle in the same match that claimed Tom Heaton. Wesley is yet to play in 2020/21 and his future is unclear.

The Bench

Jed Steer – Aston Villa

Ezri Konsa – Aston Villa

Matt Targett – Aston Villa

Douglas Luiz – Aston Villa

Henri Lansbury – Aston Villa

Jota – Deportivo Alaves – Finally a player involved no longer at Villa Park. Jota joined the La Liga side in October 2020. He’s played 7 games and has no goals.

Jonathan Kodjia - Al-Gharafa SC – Kodjia left Villa in January 2020 and took to life in Qatar like a duck to water, scoring a hattrick against Al-Rayyan.


Article by: Ben Nicholls


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