Popular former midfield player Thomas Hitzlsperger could make a shock return for a second spell at Aston Villa according to both The Guardian and The Mirror, with Villa manager Alex McLeish failing to rule out the possibility.
The German, who was affectionately known as ‘Der Hammer’, spent five years at the club between 2000 and 2005 and enjoyed a successful relationship with the Villa faithful, which still remains. He originally left Villa Park to return to his homeland, playing for VfB Stuttgart and after a brief unsuccessful period at Lazio in Italy, he returned to England with West Ham. However, after West Ham’s relegation from the Premier League last year, Hitzlsperger finds himself without a club as a free agent.
Before any potential return however, manager McLeish has been told to cut Villa’s wage bill before bringing in any new faces: ‘Thomas’ name has been mentioned,’ said McLeish of the 29-year-old German international. ‘The midfield, in terms of experience, maybe we are a little bit lacking. But we won’t be bringing players in until we trade.
We still have a very heavy wage bill and we’ve got to try and work to adjust that. There’s players at the club we respect totally, but they haven’t played much first-team football and we have to try to let them seek football somewhere else’.