Writer: J P Fear
Date:Wednesday January 4 2006
According to The Guardian, Aston Villa are willing to listen to offers for Lee Hendrie. The report directly contradicts quotes from David O'Leary who said last month that the midfielder was 'going nowhere' and was still very much in his plans.
However his season, which started with yet another suspension, has been plagued with injuries. He is currently out with an Achilles problem after recovering from knee problems. Hendrie has only made two starts this season with four substitute appearances.
Wolves and Southampton were both linked to a loan move for Hendrie before Christmas, although O'Leary told the press that no approaches had been made. However Glenn Hoddle is a known admirer of the often controversial midfielder. He said last month: ''He is a good player and I admire him. We have spoken about Lee before. When the January sales are on we will have a look at strengthening the team.''
29 year old Hendrie, who is due a testimonial next year for ten years service to Villa, hasn't said that he wants to leave but stated if he can't get first team football at Villa, he might have to go on loan so as not to waste the whole season. However even the loan players appear to be ahead of him in the pecking order, so he might have to re-evaluate the situation. Mind you, can Villa really afford to be selling players when Doug has already said there will be no funds to strengthen the team? Maybe at the end of the season, but now could prove to be very costly.
Hendrie, who came through the youth system, made his first team debut for Villa as a substitute against QPR in 1995 and managed to be sent off for two yellow cards! He has never really fulfilled the early promise. In patches he has shown outstanding form which eventually earnt him an England cap, but he never built on his international debut and has been able to get the consistency required to achieve what he could have. He has made over 200 appearances for Villa.
Hendrie said last month: 'Looking back over the past half season I've played about five games. I'm not happy. Obviously I had the knee injury, but I need games.'
We asked at the time if Villa should allow Hendrie to leave, only 13% said that we should sell midfielder, 25% said he was a good squad member and in a resounding thumbs up, 62% said we shouldn't sell him as he is a good first team player.
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Date:Wednesday January 4 2006
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