We’ve decided to take a look at some of the worst loan signings that Aston Villa made over the past decade – both in the Premier League and Sky Bet Championship.
Words by Regan Foy (@FindFoy)
After yesterday’s news that Yannick Bolasie would be returning to Everton, and today’s rumours that Andre Moreira will be returning to Atletico Madrid after a painful stay at Aston Villa, we’ve decided to take a look at some of the worst loan signings that Aston Villa made over the past decade – both in the Premier League and Sky Bet Championship.
There have certainly been some corkers, and we’ve listed them from the best of a bad bunch to an absolute shambles, with the amount of time played being a major factor, as well as their impact in the Villa squad.
Bolasie is probably the best of the worst in the last decade, because at least he made some kind of impact at Aston Villa.
With 21 appearances for the club, Bolasie only managed two 90 minute stints in the team and came off the bench twelve times. Meaning he started 9 games.
He’s popped up with goals, and assists, and there’s a number of GIFs on the internet of him breaking a few Championship defenders ego’s with tricky flicks, nutmegs and more.
But he’s a well known name in English football and realistically, fans expected a bit more from him than a few tricks and a retreat from his parent club Everton to regain his fitness.
When we were initially linked with the winger, we spoke to Crystal Palace blog ‘Hopkin Looking to Curl One’ – and they told us that Bolasie would be ‘incredible and infuriating’ – and they weren’t wrong there.
A Championship striker if there ever was one, Grant Holt spent a half-season on loan at Aston Villa in 2014.
The forward was a huge part of Norwich’s time in the Premier League and Championship, and scored over 70 goals in just over 150 games for the Canaries – but his six month loan at Aston Villa was nowhere near as impressive.
Holt, who now coaches at Norwich and wrestles in his spare time, mustered up 10 appearances and scored one goal.
Whilst it wasn’t as poor as his loan to Wolverhampton Wanderers, it still didn’t set anything alight at Villa Park.
Signed by Paul Lambert on loan from Tottenham Hotspur, Dawkins was a disappointing signing for Aston Villa.
In fact, he was so disappointing that Paul Lambert decided to bring him to relegation-tipped Ipswich Town to work under him for a second time.
Simon Dawkins managed four appearances at Villa, and didn’t even manage 90 minutes across those games, instead playing for 71 minutes across the entirety of his four-game-stint.
Probably one of the biggest names on this list, Bradley is well known in America for being one of the countries star players of recent times.
Michael Bradley has played for some huge clubs in his career, such as Borussia Monchengladbach and Roma.
Perhaps this is more of a disappointing loan to look back on nowadays.
Bradley managed three Premier League appearances and one FA cup appearance – potentially due to a fall-out with then manager Alex McLeish.
What a disappointing loan this was.
Ilori, who’s parent club was Liverpool, had played for the likes of Sporting Club Portugal and Bordeaux before joining Aston Villa in the 2015-16 season.
The Portuguese defender managed a grand total of zero appearances in a Villa shirt, before his loan was cut short in the January window of 2016.
This loan was touted as being one of the most exciting transfers Villa could make before he actually signed – as he was the back-up goalkeeper for Jan Oblak at Atletico Madrid.
That, and he was a client of Jorge Mendes who had provided talent after talent for Wolves.
It looked as if Moreira was going to be our diamond from Uncle Jorge initially, until he mustered up one appearance in the cup against Yeovil.
Moreira did save a penalty in that game, but other than that had a pretty rocky time in goal.
Andre is said to have been homesick, as well as disenchanted with the club after he was preferred below Orjan Nyland, Jed Steer, Mark Bunn, and now Lovre Kalinic.