Aston Villa

Milner. Missing Link?

Manchester City have completed the £26 million signing of highly regarded Aston Villa midfielder James Milner today, but with Stephen Ireland and a large lump sum heading to Villa Park, which club has actually got the better deal?

It’s no surprise that City have made yet another big money purchase as manager Roberto Mancini looks for his side to challenge the top four this season, bringing the likes of Yaya Toure, David Silva, Mario Balotelli and now Milner to the Blues, in a summer which has saw the club spend close to £126 million in total.

Milner looks set to make his Manchester City debut when the club play host to Liverpool on Monday night, in a game which could allow many fans to get a taste of what the former Newcastle man can bring to Mancini’s side at the highest level of competition

While many fans are looking forward to seeing the young England international in action on the right side of midfield, Aston Villa can’t really have many complaints when they look back on the deal as a whole.

There is no doubt that James Milner was a very influential player in the Villa line up last season, contributing a numerous goals and assists that saw the Midlands side finish the campaign in 6th place. However, in today’s modern game every player has his price but with the likes of Gabby Agbonlahor, Stewart Downing and Ashley Young all remaining at Villa Park, the club have more than enough attacking options up front to secure a European spot this season.

Despite not having a permanent manager in place after the resignation of Martin O’Neill, a new versatile midfielder in Stephen Ireland and upwards of £20 million in the transfer kitty, makes the hot seat at Aston Villa a very attractive proposition for any manager, that is if Chairman Randy Lerner will look to replace caretaker manager Kevin MacDonald, who led Villa to an strong opening day start in a 3-0 victory over West Ham on Saturday.

Many see James Milner as the missing link in a midfield that could possibly allow the club to challenge the likes of Chelsea and City rival’s Manchester United to the much coveted Premier League crown. While Ireland’s abilities are now surplus to requirements at Eastland’s, I’m sure many fans will be thankful for Ireland’s time at the club and hope that he can achieve great success at Aston Villa.

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