Just over 12 months ago, Martin O’ Neill was planning to spend £8-9m to bring David Wheater to Aston Villa. Now, Gerard Houllier could be able to sign him for just £1.2m due to both Middlesborough’s perilous position and Wheater’s contact being up at the end of the year.
There is no questioning Wheater’s talent from his performances in the top flight with ‘Boro prior to relegation, outlined by the amount O’ Neill was prepared to spend after that. However, his development has obviously stalled due to being in the Championship from the level where England caps were being talked about 2 years back.
The guy is only 23 and would be an asset well known to Gary McAllister, who was Gordon Strachan’s First Team Coach at the Riverside. So, if anyone would be able to tell Houllier if Wheater could make the step up it would be him.
Villa certainly needs help at the back. Richard Dunne is the wrong side of 30, Ciaran Clark looks like he has potential but certainly isn’t ready to be a week in, week out guy. Any Welshman will tell you James Collins is not Premiership class, whilst Curtis Davies is obviously out of favour at Villa, despite his quality (although I may be biased on that one), whilst everyone else seems to be injured.
So Villa fans, is Wheater the perfect option, or the cheap option?