For a substantial period Nemanja Vidic was the rock in a multi title-winning Manchester United defence, but that time is well past and now Aston Villa must swerve a nostalgia-driven blunder by signing the Serb in a desperate bid to stay up.
Although Villa manager Remi Garde has stemmed the flow of defeats in recent weeks, and doubled the season’s Premier League win tally (to two), being 10 points from safety with only 16 games left to go is enough to see the Frenchman grasping for paddles.
Being January, Garde will be tempted into trying to bring in players he feels are capable of helping hoist his ailing side out of trouble.
Three or four years ago, signing Vidic would have been a coup given the centre-half’s contribution to United’s second concerted wave of trophy hoarding under Sir Alex Ferguson.
But when Fergie finally left after securing the last of his 13 Premier League titles in 2012/13, he appeared to take a large chunk of Vidic’s mojo with him into retirement.
In truth, a string of injuries had already begun to dull the Serbian’s powers before Inter went in for the 32-year-old at the conclusion of a nightmare final season playing under David Moyes.
Villa may well be attracted by his glittering time at Old Trafford, but the now 34-year-old’s rapid plight in Serie A should act as a flashing warning sign for Garde.
Vidic was in and out of favour during a scrappy first season in Italy, while this term he hasn’t made a single appearance, leading to the termination of his contract by mutual consent.
No doubt he would still be a fairly substantial drain on the Villa Park finances as well, with wage demands likely to be high.
The Midlands outfit have need of greater quality, but arguably Villa’s squad is far barer in terms of goal scorers than decent central defenders.
Buying Vidic is not the solution to Garde pulling off the greatest Houdini act of all, with his men priced at 1/40 for the drop.
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