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So after looking at Arsenal last week here is what Aston Villa would look like of transfers never existed. If you are curious as to where some players are. Most notably would probably be Gareth Barry. When I started do assess the Villa team I had already put in Barry, so as I started to research into the players, I was surprised to find out that he originally started out at Brighton & Hove. Reading about this it seems it was all a bit of a mess, but in the end Villa had to pay Brighton & Hove for the player, and so I have not included him. There is also the issue of Chris Herd. He and fellow Australian Shane Lowry joined Villa on YTS scheme’s at age 16. Both of their careers started out at ECU Joondalup SC. I am looking into this more and am really in two minds whether to add both to this list, so in the future I may just do that.
So with that sorted out lets get to seeing how Villa would look today.
Wayne Henderson age: 28
Henderson spent his Villa career out on loan to gain first team football, but it never led to a league game for Villa. His loan spells saw him play for Tamworth, Wycombe Wanderers, Notts County twice and Brighton & Hove which lead to a permanent transfer. He spent one season as a full player there making over 30 appearances before a transfer to current club Preston North End – though his he currently on loan at Grimsby Town. Henderson was apart of the team that won the FA Youth Cup in 2002 against Everton which side had a certain Wayne Rooney
Boaz Myhill age: 29
Myhill never made an appearance for Villa instead spending his time on loan at Stoke City, Bristol City, Bradford City, Macclesfield Town and Stockport County. He signed for Hull City in 2003 where he went on to make 277 appearances. He joined Hull in the then Division three, now League 2, but saw promotion after promotion until they reached the Premiership in 2008. Myhill has made 70 Premier League appearances but currently is playing in the Championship with Birmingham City on loan.
Gary Cahill age: 26 CB
How Villa must regret letting Cahill go. Cahill made 30 appearances for Villa, but during his time he also spent a loan spell at Burnley and another at Sheffield United. In 2008 Cahill signed for Bolton and went on to make over 130 appearances. During his rise at Bolton he was called up to the England senior team. He also played for England at U20 and U21 level. Over the last few seasons Cahill performances gathered a lot of attention from the top clubs in the country and in the end signed for Chelsea in the 2012 January Transfer Window (JTW).
Ciaran Clark age: 22 CB/CM
Clark looks to have a bright future ahead of him and has already made 32 appearances for Villa and received two call ups for the Republic of Ireland. England may have missed out on a big player as although he has represented England at U17, U18, U19, U20 level. Clark likes to get forward and has scored three goals for Villa, his first came in the 4-2 defeat against Arsenal, and he scored his second in the same game. He was playing in midfield in that game.
James O’Conner age: 27 CB/RB
O’Conner saw success with Villa winning the FA Youth Cup in 2002 but that was his only highlight with team. He had two loan spells, one with Port Vale and the other to Bournemouth where he then signed a permanent deal on a free transfer. He had a very good season with Bournemouth but moved to Doncaster after Bournemouth accepted a transfer of around £130, 000. O’Conner’s good form continued and has become an integral park of the team. In the 2009/10 he has was chosen as their player of the season.
Nathan Baker age: 20 CB/LB
Baker was on loan to Championship side Millwall, while last season saw him on loan at Lincoln City. His career is just beginning and has made 5 appearances for Villa but with stiff competition for places another loan move may be on the cards.
Stephen O’Halloran age: 24 LB
O’Halloran currently plays for Carlisle United signing on a free this season after his contract ran out at Coventry City. He didn’t make an appearance for Villa and his Villa career saw him on loan spells. One with Wycombe Wanderers, Southampton, Leeds United and Swansea. He has been called up twice for the Rep. of Ireland and also represented Ireland at U21 level.
Lee Hendrie age: 34 CM
Lee Hendrie made over 300 appearances for Villa in all competitions but currently plays for Kidderminster Harriers. After leaving Villa, much later than maybe he should have, his career started to decline. He joined Stoke on loan before signing for Sheffield United, where he also spent to short loan at Leicester and Blackpool. He joined Derby on 2009 but spent the second half of the season on loan at Brighton. Since 2009 Hendrie has turned out for 6 clubs – Derby; Brighton on loan; Bradford; Indonesian club Bandung; Daventry and then current club Kidderminster Harriers. He represented England U21’s multiple times and the senior team once.
Peter Whittingham age: 27 CM
Whittingham was also apart of the 2002 FA Youth Cup winning side but at that stage of his career he was playing as a defender. He currently plays as a central midfielder though he did also operate on the wing for Aston Villa. Whittingham had two loan spells during his time with Villa, one for Burnley and the other for Derby. He had his chance with Villa but was never able to hold down a first team position and so moved on to his current Cardiff City. Whittingham was capped by England U21’s 17 times scoring 3 times.
Steven Davis age: 27 CM
Another product form the 2002 winning FA Youth Cup side, Davis is probably the most well known. The Northern Ireland international has represented his country 51 times and currently plays for Glasgow Rangers. In his first full season for the Villains he was named Player of the Year, Young Player of the Year and Players Young Player of the Year. He made just over 100 appearances for Villa before his transfer to Fulham in a deal worth £4million. He only spent one season at the London club before a move to Scotland with Glasgow Rangers where he has gone on to make over 200 appearances for them.
Craig Gardner age: 25 CM
Gardner made over 60 appearances for Villa before he moved to city rivals Birmingham in 2010. During his time with Birmingham he won the Carlin Cup in a game against favourites Arsenal. Gardner moved from Birmingham City after their relegation and moved to Sunderland where he has scored 3 in 17 appearances.
Isaiah Osbourne age: 24 CM
Osbourne has three different loan spells during his time with Villa. The first was with Nottingham Forest, the second with Middlesbrough and the final one was with Sheffield Wednesday. He signed a free transfer for Hibs after his contract ran out at Villa.
Barry Bannan age: 22 CM
The Scottish international has represented his country 9 times, 10 at U21 level, and had made 63 appearances for Aston Villa and scored twice for the Villains. Bannan has also had loan spells at Derby, Blackpool and Leeds United during his career. Bannan had played with Celtic U14’s but was not contracted to the club and when he did sign for a club it was with Aston Villa. There was no transfer or tribunal fee.
Marc Albrighton age: 22 RM
Albrighton has become a regular in the Aston Villa line up and is able to play on both wings. A bright future is ahead for the attacking winger and no doubt in the future there is an England call-up. He has represented his country at U20 and U21 level. In all competitions for Villa he has made 57 appearances and scored 7 goals and 7 assists.
Darrius Vassell age: 31
Darrius Vassell saw his most successful time at Villa scoring 45 goals in 190 appearances. Vassell never went out on loan; he had a chance with the first team and took it. Vassell is a striker that utilised his speed, and for England was used primarily as a sub, coming on near the end of a game to run at the tired defenders. It worked well as in his 22 appearances for England he scored 6 times. Vassell moved on from Villa to Manchester City. He scored 22 goals in 114 games. He moved on from City to Turkish club Ankaragücü for one season before joining current club Leicester City
Stefan Moore age: 28
Stefan Moore is the older brother of Luke Moore and they both played together in the FA Youth Cup in 2002. Stefan’s career started off quiet promisingly but over the years has tailed off where as his brothers has been more successful – which must burn a little. Stefan made 26 appearances for Villa scoring twice. He spent time on loan at Chesterfield, Millwall and Leicester City before a permanent move to QPR. He spent three years at QPR. During that time he had a loan spell to Port Vale. This is where he career starts to tail off. He had a short stint at Walsall and then moved to non league Kidderminster Harriers, Silhill Fourth XI, Halesowen Town and is currently playing for St Neots Town.
Luke Moore age: 25
Moore currently plays for Swansea City but in his career has made appearances for five other clubs, including Villa. He made 96 appearances for Villa netting 14 times. He had loan spells at Wycombe Wanderers and WBA who then signed for. During his time at WBA he made 53 appearances scoring 5 times. He spent some time on loan at Derby before a move in January to current club Swansea. Moore was involved in to FA Youth Cup finals with Villa, the 2002 win and a loss in 2004
Gabriel Agbonlahor age: 25
Agbonlahor would be the best striker at the club right now. In 2005 he had two loan spells one at Watford and another at Sheffield Wednesday. For Aston Villa he has scored 60 goals in 239 appearances. There was a lot of promise a few years ago, but under certain managers he seemed to fall down the pecking order, and his confidence was knocked.
Nathan Delfouneso age: 21
Delfouneso is currently on loan at Leicester City, while last season he was on loan at Burnley. There is still a lot to come from the young striker who has already made 49 appearances for Villa scoring 9 goals. Delfouneso has represented England at U16, U17, U19 and U21 level. With the England U21’s he has scored 8 in 12 games.
So there we have it. Not a huge squad of 18, but a good starting XI. Here is how I would have them. 4-5-1 formation; Myhill; Baker, Clark, Cahill, O’Conner; Whittingham, Gardner, Davis, Bannan, Albrighton; Agbonlahor