After another slog of a season fighting off the ghouls of relegation, Aston Villa fans will have jumped out of their skin in shock at some of the faces to have come through the Villa Park door since.
With the club crying out for some stellar signings to lift the feeling of gloom around the Birmingham-based outfit, instead, it’s been a pair of Premier League misfits who soon look to be joined by another in the form of Nicklas Bendtner.
Arsenal’s nomadic striker is angling for a permanent move away from the Emirates after a prolonged stint on the loan circuit and Villa have emerged as his most likely destination.
If this deal gets rubberstamped, the divisive Dane will join former Arsenal teammate Philippe Senderos and West Ham castoff Joe Cole as Paul Lambert’s signings of the summer so far.
With Senderos jumping off Fulham’s sunken vessel and a 32-year-old Cole starved of minutes at Upton Park last season, these are hardly additions to get Villains pulses racing.
However, it’s another signing who could yet prove the key to unlocking the potential that this experienced trio possess and ensure the 3/1 about relegation ends up being a very short price on relegation.
Roy Keane has been installed as Lambert’s first Lieutenant and although the Irishman is also a divider of opinion, he does possess the cult of personality that can galvanise.
If anything, Villa’s youthful squad have been crying out for some experienced heads both on and off the pitch, as naivety has often cost them dear in their two campaigns toiling at the wrong end of the league table.
Bendtner is still only 26, yet has 54 caps for Denmark where he’s amassed an impressive tally of 24 and given an extended run in the team could well prove a valuable asset.
Meanwhile, Senderos is now a veteran of three World Cups with Switzerland and Joe Cole brings a wealth of international experience and a glittering club CV.
Keane trumps them all for medals won as a player and using his nous the former Manchester United midfielder can help integrate these new faces.
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