Wednesday, February 8, 2023

Aston Villa Emerge As A Shock Destination For This England Superstar: Does This Make Sense?

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Soham Dwibedi
Lives, breathes and dreams football. To reiterate the words of Bill Shankly, "some people think football is a matter of life and death. I assure you, it's much more serious than that."

In a shocking move, Sky Bet has just halved the odds in favour of Joe Hart joining Aston Villa. The club under the new management of Dr. Tony Xia and replenished desire to compete both financially and on the pitch with the recruitment of manager Steve Bruce has shown plenty of ambition in the market so far. They have already pulled off a coup of sorts in unveiling John Terry at the club.

What makes the possibility so perplexing is that Manchester City are not looking to loan Hart out. If Villa are willing to meet City’s valuation of the out-of-favour goalkeeper, then it would put them on a whole different bracket ambition wise. At the moment, according to Sky Bet, only West Ham and Newcastle United look likelier than Villa in snapping him up.

Manchester City value Hart at around £18m. The England goalkeeper also linked with Manchester United looks set to stay in England after an arguably successful spell with Torino. The 30-year-old proved to be a huge fan favourite in his season-long loan spell with the Italian side. Torino backed out of signing the goalkeeper, instead opting for Salvatore Sirigu. The price tag slapped on the Englishman proved to be a deterrence in making the move permanent.

The move makes sense for Villa as Hart would be an upgrade over current goalkeepers, 32-year-old Mark Bunn and Jed Steer. Steve Bruce looks set to value experience over youth in stocking his team with veterans. With Agbonlahor leading the line, Terry and Micah Richards in defence and Joe Hart behind the goal, it would establish a solid spine for the team.

But at £18m, it is perhaps not the most prudent signing to target, as that money can be better invested in improving other areas of the squad including the goalkeeping position.

Although deemed surplus at City, due to Guardiola’s preference of a sweeper-keeper, Hart could be a useful signing for the likes of Leicester City who could allow Kasper Schmeichel to leave for United. 30 isn’t considered too old in goalkeeping years and Hart with his Premier League pedigree could be a valuable addition to The Foxes.

Although slated for his howlers in goal for Torino, conceding two goals accredited to his name, the goalkeeper had some fine performances for the Italian side. Even with their leaky defence shipping goals week-in-week-out, Hart stood out enough for the fans to sing his name. Hart proved to be a very popular member of the squad and the management staff as well where his lofty stature of being the England No. 1, evoked awe among fellow team-mates and fans alike.

It remains to be seen if Steve Bruce is interested enough in the player to splash the cash.

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