This article forms part of our Profit Players 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.
Since joining them in January 2017, there is no doubt that Conor Hourihane – who had his goal disallowed against Brighton this weekend – has excelled at Aston Villa.
He joined the West Midlands club from Barnsley for a fee believed to be around £3.15 million (via Transfermarkt).
For the second half of the 2016/17 campaign, his performances were solid if unspectacular, and he managed just one goal and three assists in his first 17 appearances in a maroon shirt (via Transfermarkt).
However, in his first full season at Villa Park, he really did demonstrate his worth. He became a regular starter at the club, playing 40 matches from the beginning and he showed his capabilities in front of goal, netting 11 times throughout the season (via Transfermarkt).
He then continued to impress last season, and was a key player as the Villans earned promotion to the Premier League via the play-offs.
Indeed he made 43 Championship appearances in the regular season, scoring seven goals whilst also racking up an impressive 12 assists (via Transfermarkt). Added to that, he also scored a vital goal in Villa’s play-off semi-final first leg victory against West Brom (via BBC Sport).
Hourihane is now a Premier League player, and is once again offering plenty of attacking threat from midfield. The Republic of Ireland international has already scored once and assisted once in just five top-flight outings, whilst he has also scored three times in two EFL Cup appearances (via Transfermarkt).
The Irishman has had to force his way back into the team after being on the bench for five games in a row recently, with the club having signed other midfielders such as Douglas Luiz and Marvelous Nakamba for life in the top tier. However, he has since started their last two league matches, showing that he is more than capable of competing with some excellent players for a starting berth.
When looking further into the stats, the former Barnsley man averages the fifth-highest pass completion rate than anyone in the squad (86.3%, per WhoScored), the fifth-highest number of shots per game (1.5) and the fourth-highest number of key passes per game (1.5), so is clearly making a marked impact on proceedings in the Premier League.
With that in mind, the £3.15 million they paid for him looks a real steal.
Aston Villa fans, how do you rate Conor Hourihane’s time at the club? And how much would you value him now? Let us know in the comments below…Like what the TT have on offer? Sign up for more notifications!