We think it is fair to say that when Jordan Veretout joined Aston Villa, he had essentially bought himself a first class ticket on the Titanic.
As painful as it may be Villa fans, think back to the year 2015 (*shudder*). It has been a very, very long time since the glory days of old when Gareth Barry and co. ruled the roost, Tim Sherwood had kept his job after miraculously lumbering Aston Villa to a 17th place finish during the 2014/15 campaign but was again landed with the thankless task of saving his side the following season. That’s because: 1) he was an abysmal manager who didn’t deserve a spot in any Premier League side, and 2) because Villa were desperately short on talent and had been for a painfully long period of time.
You can imagine it now: Sherwood sweating in a dark room, spent cigarettes piled up on an ashtray laughing nervously as he aimlessly calls the representatives of players who looked like decent Football Manager prospects in 2005. One call away from Freddy Adu and utter dejection, his finger falls on Jordan Veretout. Bingo.
The Frenchman arrived for an estimated £9million in July 2015 and was expected to be the saviour in Sherwood’s midfield. “I’m really pleased Jordan decided to choose Aston Villa over the other options he had and opt to continue his development with us. He is only 22 but he is vastly experienced for someone that age.” Full of anticipation, The Villa manager added: He has played over 140 games in France and is a really exciting young player. I know he is very highly rated, so we are delighted to get this deal over the line.”
On paper, Veretout was a very, very decent signing. Despite being fairly young at the time, the Frenchman had been directly involved in 14 goals in 36 appearances the previous season, scoring seven and assisting seven more.
Unfortunately rescuing Aston Villa proved a bridge too far and the hopes of the Frenchman becoming a long-term solution to their mammoth midfield problem crumbled over the period of a desperately poor season.
The effort was there, yes, but because the players surrounding his were so utterly void of any talent, there was very little scope for success, and his five assists were not enough to keep Villa from finishing bottom of the Premier League by 17 points.
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