The rumour mill is in full flow as the transfer window rolls on, and one rumour recently brought to the fore is that Mile Jedinak may be close to a move away from Villa Park.
While this would remove the huge wage of £50,000 a week and help the club stabilise financially, it would also remove a few of Bruce’s options and would take an important figure out of the dressing room, so even if there are some positives to a potential sale, there would be issues if Jedinak was to leave.
Mile Jedinak’s Sale would Leave a Void at Aston Villa
Firstly, the sheer physical presence of the man is something we can’t replace with anyone else in our current squad, and this is one of the main reasons why he got the nod in the bigger games last season, such as the derby against Blues and the play-offs. Having the-man mountain in the centre of midfield might not be useful for every game, but in the games where physicality is important, there are few better in the league than the huge Aussie. He always seems to be dominant in the air whether he plays in midfield or defence, and can pop up with a vital goal such as that Play-off Semi-Final goal at the Riverside, so losing his presence would be a potential problem for Villa. The other options are Whelan and Bjarnason, and while they do bring other skills to the table that are better in some matches, neither of them can match Mile Jedinak physically and this emphasises why he is such an asset in the Championship.
Another aspect of Mile Jedinak’s game that Villa would miss if he was sold is his leadership. Captain of his national team, Jedinak’s leadership qualities cannot be overlooked, and as the club have lost Terry and Snodgrass (two proven leaders on the pitch) it is arguably necessary to keep him for these qualities. Chester will presumably be the captain, but next on the list would have to be Jedinakbecause of his experience and his know-how. He can be a fantastic figure for youngsters coming through such as Doyle-Hayes to look up to and learn from, with his confidence and coolness standing out. He never seems to try the Hollywood pass, but this is fine for Villa because that’s not what we need him to do, highlighting the fact that he knows his role and usually performs it very capably. He has a very particular role in the midfield and no one can do it as well as him, and having a man with Jedinak’s experience and leadership skills at the heart of the team can only be a good thing.
Finally, Jedinak has proven he provides decent centre back cover should we need it, and with the club now running low on central defenders, it looks like we will. Apart from his questionable game at home to Sheffield United, Jedinak has always looked reasonably assured and solid at centre back, and definitely has the head on his shoulders to cope with the pressure of playing there. Villa’s second choice centre back spot is up for grabs and Bruce definitely isn’t ruling out Jedinak playing there from time to time, so don’t be surprised if you see him lining up next to captain James Chester.
So whilst getting rid of the monstrous wage that Jedinak earns would be a huge weight off Villa’s worn down shoulders, there could be resulting negative effects on the pitch. He may be expensive, but Mile Jedinak is certainly an asset that Villa benefit from having in their squad.
Words by Matt Blogg (@Blogg_Matt) // Follow us on Twitter (@claretandview)