Writer: J P Fear
Date:Tuesday September 2 2008
There seems to be mixed views on this transfer window. I must admit I'm pretty much on the fence, I don't think it was a great summer of spending but I certainly don't think it was a bad one! If not for a big name wow player or a striker, I'd have been well happy but as it is, we have improved numbers wise slightly and have strengthened.
I guess, the same as last summer, the only time to really judge this transfer window is when the 2008/2009 season closes. Will Martin O'Neill once again be proved right in his buys? Hope so. Villa have again broken the transfer record, this time for James Milner from Newcastle. Althought it was an undisclosed fee, it was certainly £12million or over! He will make a great addition and gives the side balance so that we have both sides catered for and the supply should be all but sorted. The supply to who? Well, we have to hope and pray that John Carew can stay fit and keep his form up. Then there is the younger (and by weekend press reports knackered...!) Gabby Agbonlahor who is still learning. If he gets a chance he has shown that he can take it, he just needs to work on his positional play. Beyond that we don't have much back up, no disrespect to Marlon Harewood but he proved in the Uefa midweek once again, he isn't a 90 minute player.
Some are saying Brad Friedel was a great signings, some aren't so sure that Villa are showing ambition with bringing in a 37-year-old. How will we know who is right? Yup, end of season!
Nicky Shorey provides more than adequate cover for the injured Freddy Bouma although again, already some doom mongers are saying Shorey isn't good enough. Come on guys, give the lad a chance! Luke Young might not have been the first choice for right-back but at least he is a right-back and from what I've seen so far, a decent one at that! Just to have a right-back will do me as I thought last season was a disgrace and not fair on Olof Mellberg (who said he felt out of sorts all season out wide).
Carlos Cuellar I've not seen play but by the disgust and depression in Glasgow at his depature, I'd say we have a gem there. Can't wait to see him line up, although it will be tough for Martin O'Neill to decide who to drop, if anyone, to make way. There is no way on earth he can drop Martin Laursen but it would be harsh on Curtis Davies to end up on the bench. Also very bad news for Zat Knight although hopefully there will be enough games to go around if we have a cup run or two!
Then of course we have Steve Sidwell so O'Neill has a selection headache in midfield, a nice headache to have after the lack of options over the last few years, especially when you consider how well Craig Gardner is developing as well, so we do have choices there. Be interesting to know if he'd have bought Sidwell if he knew Gareth Barry was staying!
So, a good summer, not a great one. Hopefully we can push on up to the ....... dare I mention it so early.... January transfer window, and then possibly grab a striker? If not we need a good cup run, maybe - hope and pray - some silverware and we can splash the cash next summer on an even higher quality forward?
Our latest poll asks what you think of the transfer window.
As below, Martin O'Neills' transfers to date. If I've missed any let me know. It is only rough, the latest signings were mostly undisclosed but gives us a rough idea of the ins and outs + prices paid.
FIRST SEASON 2006/2007 :
Kevin Phillips WBA £700k
Matthieu Berson Levante £1m
Ulises De La Cruz Reading Free
Peter Whittingham Cardiff City £250k
Eric Djemba Djemba Quatar Free
Juan Pablo Angel New York Red Bulls Free
Milan Baros Lyon Swap
Mark Delaney Retired
Total sold £2m
Stiliyan Petrov Celtic £6.5m
Didier Agathe Celtic Free
Chris Sutton Celtic Free
Phil Bardsley Manchester United Loan
Gabor Kiraly Crystal Palace Loan
John Carew Lyon Swap
Ashley Young Watford £9.65m
Shaun Maloney Celtic £1.1m
Total bought £17m
Net Spend 2006/2007 £15m
SECOND SEASON 2007/2008:
Gary Cahill Bolton Undisc (in region of £4m?)
Liam Ridgewell Birmingham £2m
Jlloyd Samuel Bolton Free
Lee Hendrie Sheffield United Free
Chris Sutton Retired
Steven Davis Fulham £4m
Aaron Hughes Fulham £1m
Gavin McCann Bolton £1m
Robert Olejnik Falkirk Free
Total sold £12m
Wayne Routledge Tottenham £1.5m
Moustapha Salifou FC Wil Undisc.
Curtis Davies West Brom Loan
Zat Knight Fulham £3.5m
Scott Carson Liverpool Loan
Harry Forrester Watford £250 000 initial fee rising on appearances
Eric Lichaj Unattached Free
Marlon Harewood West Ham Undisc (region of £3.5m?)
Nigel Reo-Coker West Ham £8.5m
Total bought £17m
Net spend 2007/2008 £5m
THIRD SEASON 2008/2009
Luke Moore (West Brom - £3.5million)
Olof Mellberg (Juventus - free)
Patrick Berger (Sparta Prague - free)
Thomas Sorensen (released)
Shaun Maloney (Celtic, £1million)
Total sold: £4.5m
Curtis Davies (WBA undisclosed but around £7.5million?)
Steve Sidwell (Chelsea £5.5million)
Brad Friedel (Blackburn, undisclosed but in the region of £2 - £2.5million)
Brad Guzan (Chivas US, undisclosed, starts at around £800k up to £2m on appearances etc?)
Nicky Shorey (Reading, around £4m?)
Luke Young (Middlesbrough, around £5m?)
Carlos Cuellar (Rangers £7.8million)
James Milner (Newcastle, around £12million?)
Total bought so far: £45 000 000
Net total so far: £40 500 000.
Total spend by MON so far roughly (as some are undisclosed fees) £60 500 000
*Loan fees not included. Figures rounded up or down. Only a rough guideline!*
Date:Tuesday September 2 2008
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