Where are they now? The 12 players Tim Sherwood signed for Aston Villa

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Aston Villa 2015 Signing Adama Traore

Aston Villa endured a tough season in 2015-16, suffering their first-ever relegation from the Premier League, winning only three games and their fans had to witness some shocking defeats including a 6-0 loss to Liverpool.

Under the management of Tim Sherwood, and later Remi Garde, the club was a chaotic mess, despite the squad possessing a mixture of experience and promising youth including a young Jack Grealish.

The signings the club made in the summer of 2015 echoed this mixture, possibly highlighting the lack of a clear strategy, and lost stars Christian Benteke and Fabian Delph to Liverpool and Manchester City.

Nevertheless, some of the players who were brought in that season turned out to have very decent careers elsewhere.

Jordan Ayew

Jordan Ayew came to Villa Park from Lorient for £10.8million with plenty of experience for a 23-year-old, having previously played in the Champions League with Marseille, and was expected to be a source of goals to replace Benteke.

Despite only netting seven times in all competitions, he ended the season as Villa’s top scorer, and stayed at the club for a further six months after relegation before moving on to Swansea, where he would be relegated again.

He’s now into his fourth season at Crystal Palace, where he’s been something of an enigma. Often brilliant and maddeningly frustrating in the same passage of play.

Matija Sarkic

Sarkic is a full Montenegro international having won five caps since his debut in 2019, but he was actually born in Grimsby.

After coming through at Anderlecht, he joined Villa in 2015 aged 18. After four loans and no first-team appearances, he joined Wolves in 2020. He’s currently on the fringes of Bruno Lage’s squad after loans away to Shrewsbury and Birmingham.

Jordan Veretout

Signed from Nantes for a £9million fee, Veretout had spells at Saint-Etienne and Fiorentina before making a £21million move to Roma. He’s even impressed enough to get a few France caps over the past couple of years.

He lifted the UEFA Conference League trophy as a key part of Jose Mourinho’s side and has since returned to France with Marseille, who are doing well to keep the pace with PSG in these early weeks of the season.

Idrissa Gueye

Villa basically did a trolley dash around France in the summer of 2015 – and the best of the new Francophone contingent was without doubt Gueye.

He went on to be one of Villa’s standout performers, second in the league only to N’Golo Kante for tackles and interceptions, and earned a move to Everton as a result. After three good seasons on Merseyside, Gueye made a big money move to PSG, winning six trophies in three years before returning to Goodison Park.

Jose Angel Crespo

No relation to the great Argentine Hernan, Jose Angel is a Spanish full-back who made remarkably little impact in the Midlands.

He played twice for Villa before being loaned out to Rayo Vallecano in January. Come the end of the season, he moved permanently to PAOK and has since moved on from Greece to Cyprus with APOEL. Still trundling along at 35.

Scott Sinclair

Scott Sinclair spent the previous six months on loan at Villa, where he earned himself a £3million permanent move. However, he remained unimpressive throughout the season, and moved on to Celtic, where he rediscovered his old form for a few trophy-laden years.

He’s now a free agent, having been released by Preston after three years at Deepdale.

Adama Traore

It was Aston Villa who first brought the jet-heeled Spaniard to England from Barcelona, and after a spell with Middlesborough, he has made a name for himself at Wolves, even managing to get into the Spain squad for Euro 2020.

After his loan back to his boyhood club wasn’t made permanent, he’s now back at Wolves but somewhat out of favour. It feels like his career is at something of a crossroads and in need of a new permanent home to reignite his undeniable spark.

READ: Bellerin next: 7 La Masia graduates who returned to Barcelona

Joleon Lescott

Easily the worst signing of the lot, the former England International was brought in from rivals West Brom in order to bring experience to a leaky back line.

The then 33-year-old performed poorly on a consistent basis, and after a 6-0 defeat to Liverpool, tweeted a picture of a sports car in what appeared to be an attempt to insult the fans who criticised him.

He later claimed the photo was “tweeted from his pocket,” which just about summed up his time there.

Rudy Gestede

Gestede was brought in to replace the physical presence upfront of Christian Benteke, and with a goal on his debut against Bournemouth, as well as the winner in the derby against Birmingham in the League Cup, the early signs were promising.

However, the striker only managed six goals throughout the season, and joined Boro alongside Traore. The 33-year-old was last seen turning out in the Persian Gulf Pro League for Esteghlal FC.

Micah Richards

Richards was once a top prospect at Man City, but after serious injury problems moved on to Villa on a free hoping to find some form alongside his former teammate Lescott.

Richards was surprisingly made captain upon his arrival, and was another experienced player to receive heavy criticism for the team’s failings on the pitch.

He made just two appearances in three seasons with Villa in the Championship before retiring, and is now a regular pundit on Sky Sports.

READ: Micah Richards: Who would support me after racist abuse? Always Joe Hart

Jordan Amavi

The third Jordan signed from Ligue 1 in the transfer window, the 21-year-old left-back was brought in for a quite substantial £9million from Marseille with a lot of promise, and had some bright performances despite the team performing poorly.

He eventually moved on to Marseille, where he has played over 120 games. He’s still on their books, but out on loan at Marseille.

Mark Bunn

Couple man called him a back-up ‘keeper. On the pitch in the Prem, he’s back-up ‘keeper. If that makes him a back-up ‘keeper. Brad Guzan? Back-up ‘keeper. Jed Steer? Back-up ‘keeper.

We don’t really know where we were going with that.

Anyway, Mark Bunn was brought in as a back-up ‘keeper, but then Brad Guzan told Villa fans to fuck off when they were giving him stick for having a gum-spitting contest with Joleoen Lescott during an FA Cup tie, and suddenly Remi Garde decided Mark Bunn wasn’t the back-up ‘keeper.

After 10 games as Villa’s first-choice though, Bunn returned to being a back-up ‘keeper. And there he stayed. On the bench. Until 2019, when he retired.


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