Writer: J P Fear
Date:Sunday January 8 2006
Is Lee Hendrie heading for the Villa Park exit door?
Well, I can't substantiate the story or back it up with any real facts, but an Aston Villa mole has suggested the 29 year old midfielder may just be on his way to Portsmouth for a fee in the region of £2.5million.
I don't like posting too many rumours, when they are proved wrong you tend to end up with egg on your face, but as I've just had omelette for my tea, I don't suppose it will matter so much this time.
The leak certainly contradicts the position of David O'Leary who said over the weekend: 'Lee Hendrie has not come to me about wanting to go out on loan. I think he knows we can't afford to let anyone go out on loan. No-one has phoned me up about Hendrie, Delaney or De la Cruz. We would knock them back because we are down to the bare bones.'
Mind you, he does say in that quote 'on loan'. However he has also said that whether he sells anyone or not, he won't be able to bring anyone in as a replacement. So why bother?
I'd put all this down to rumour and gossip, but we all know what Doug is like, if he gets a sniff of money he'd sell anyone! I know first hand, someone said they wouldn't give two bob for my opinions and Doug took them up on the offer.
Lee would be due a testimonial next year for ten years service, whether that would tempt the player to stay or not isn't clear. He has said that this is the worst season he has ever known and if he doesn't get a chance of regular football he would have to look at his options. However he has also stated that he doesn't want to leave Villa.
The Guardian were quoted the other day saying the club were willing to listen to offers for the often controversial midfielder.
Hendrie said recently '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.'
He has certainly fallen down the pecking order at Villa with on loan James Milner the preferred choice, but with so many injuries and the future of another loan player, Eirik Bakke shrouded in mystery, the club may be committing suicide cutting the squad further. Would also be interesting to see how far O'Leary patience would be tested should such a sale go ahead against his wishes.
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:Sunday January 8 2006
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