This article forms part of our Total Dud feature series, which is where Football Transfer Tavern takes a look at how well a player has fared since being signed or sold, using statistical figures and statements from pundits to prove how good of a deal the club managed to achieve.
Aston Villa boss Dean Smith hasn’t really put a foot wrong so far in his time at the club as he ensured they returned to the Premier League despite taking over from Steve Bruce mid-way through a campaign.
As the manager was appointed in October last year, he has had just two windows at the club. Indeed, the majority of which came in the summer, when the club brought in a whopping 12 signings.
In his first window as the Villans manager, he did make a few signings, including Frederic Guilbert for £4.5m (per Transfermarkt) – a buy which looks good business now considering his frequent appearances in the top tier – and Lovre Kalinic for £5.4m – a purchase w
In fact, Kalinic has been an extremely uninspired buy for the club and has seen his value dwindle at his time in the Midlands.
The Croatian ‘keeper was the most expensive buy out of all of Villa’s last season and was also probably their least effective. Since joining the club, he has played just eight games. In fact, it has now nearly been a year since they bought the 28-year-old, and so far, they have paid £675,000 for every match that he has played – not including his wage.
His dip of form also means that if they want to sell him, then they are going to find it much more difficult to do so. When they bought him from Gent, he was worth £5.85m, according to Transfermarkt, however now, he is worth just £3.6m.
Considering that the claret and blue have spent well beyond that kind of money in the summer – spending over £100m in the last window – this may look like a pretty small fee in the grand scheme of things. But it should not be forgotten that the purse strings were much tighter last season when parachute payments from the Premier League began to dwindle and the pressure of not getting promoted begins to increase not just from the fans but from the board as well. Indeed, the club were in a financial mess as recently as six months prior to his arrival, after all.
From his seven matches in the Championship last season, he managed to keep just one clean sheet, and out of the whole squad, had the 27th highest average rating in the whole squad, per WhoScored. Their algorithm gave him an average of 6.07/10 for his performances, so it shouldn’t come as a huge surprise that he was subsequently dropped and the club went at bought Tom Heaton in the summer.
There will definitely be no complaints so far about the performance from Dean Smith as manager of the club, but this will have to go down as one of his worst signings, as realistically it is hard to see a future for him beyond this season.
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