Although Aston Villa have made a solid start to the Premier League, picking up four points from two games without conceding, their somewhat questionable transfer business hasn’t delighted fans.
Philippe Senderos, Joe Cole, Keiran Richardson and Aly Cissokho have all joined already despite poor campaigns in the top-flight last year, and Manchester United midfielder Tom Cleverley is reportedly next on Paul Lambert’s list.
In normal circumstances picking up a 25-year-old England international from the Red Devils would be excellent business for Villa, but these are strange times we live in and Cleverley is not a popular choice.
The midfielder was a symbol of David Moyes’ hapless reign at Old Trafford last season, floundering in a side with little purpose in the middle of the park.
Cleverley registered one goal and no assists in 22 league appearances and was hardly a defensive rock, making it tricky to see what Villa have seen in him even at a relatively small £8m.
Instead, the Villans would be wise to take another look at Tottenham Hotspur’s Lewis Holtby, who they were linked with at the start of the summer.
The German midfielder is set to leave Spurs due to their surfeit of midfielders and would likely be available at a similar fee to Cleverley, if not less.
Holtby spent half of last season at Fulham where, despite the Cottagers’ eventual relegation, he showed enough tenacity and class on the ball to suggest he’s a better bet than Cleverley.
The German scored once and set up three goals in 13 games for Fulham, and created 1.95 chances-per-90 compared to the United midfielder’s 0.57.
The Spurs man also racked up 2.64 tackles-per-90 during his loan spell, again superior to the English player’s 2.28.
Add in the fact that Holtby is also two years younger than Cleverley and you have to wonder why Villa, or indeed any other Premier League clubs, aren’t trying to gazump his move to Hamburg.
The Villans will be looking to extend their unbeaten start to the league at home to Hull City in their next match, a game they are 6/5 to win.
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