MARVELOUS NAKAMBA has made the Aston Villa 25-man squad for the English Premiership campaign despite the high-flying Birmingham club splashing about £92 million towards a host of recruits during the last transfer window.
His fellow Zimbabwean international
footballer, David Moyo, scored for his side Hamilton Academical as they lost 2-4 to Aberdeen in a Scottish Premiership match on Tuesday night.
A number of high-profile players, including Arsenal’s German midfielder Mesut, Ozil, and former England left wingback, Danny Rose and Ghanaian international winger, Christian Atsu, have been left out of their squads in the league.
Villa submitted their 25-man squad to the Premier League and Henri Lansbury was the player who missed out.
The 30-year-old, who arrived at the club for £3million in January 2017, is out of contract at the end of the season.
Lansbury’s omission means there was space in the squad, for fourth-choice goalkeeper Lovre Kalinic, and backup right-back Frederic Guilbert.
Injured pair, Tom Heaton and Wesley Moraes, were also included as they enter the final stages of their recoveries from the knee problems sustained in January.
Each Premier League club also submit an additional list of registered under-21 players who are eligible, over and above the squad limit of 25 players, with players born on or after January 1, 1999 qualifying for that criteria this season.
Villa have been boosting their squad and recently signed England midfielder, Ross Barley, on loan from Chelsea after West Ham United just couldn’t pay the £11million outlay needed for the deal to be completed.
That figure comes from Barkley’s wages as well as the loan fee and agent fees involved in the deal, which West Ham just weren’t prepared to pay.
The Birmingham club have been praised for the way they have been conducting their transfer business.
“Aston Villa, however, have made remarkable strides in this transfer window, signing Matty Cash (£16m), Ollie Watkins (£28m), Emiliano Martinez (£20m) and Betrand Traore (£17m),’’ said Martin Laurence of WhoScoredWho.
“The club also agreed new long-term contracts with Tyrone Mings and Jack Grealish, who will delighted to see their fellow England international Ross Barkley join for the season.
“Signing a Chelsea squad player may not be the coup of the century but, for a club that only returned to the Premier League last season and stayed up by the skin of their teeth, it’s a big signing, even if only on loan.
“Barkley is the statement No 8 that Villa needed and he joins the club alongside a new goalkeeper, right-back, right winger and striker.’’
Ozil was the high-profile victim, among those who didn’t make the cut, across the league, but has pledged to continue fighting for his chance at Arsenal after releasing an emotional statement following the club’s latest snub.
The Gunners are desperate to offload the £350,000-a-week star, but the 32-year-old claims he is determined “not to let’’ his time at the Emirates end like this.
“Upon signing my contract in 2018, I pledged my loyalty and allegiance to the club that I love, Arsenal, and it saddens me that this has not been reciprocated,’’ he said in a statement.
“As I have just found out, loyalty is hard to come by nowadays.
“Before the coronavirus break I was really happy with the development under our new coach Mikel Arteta – we’ve been on a positive way and I would say my performances were on a really good level.
“But, then, things changed, again, and I was not longer allowed to play football for Arsenal.”
“London still feels like home, I still have many good friends in this team, and I still feel a strong connection with the fans of this club.
“No matter what, I will keep fighting for my chance and not let my 8th season at Arsenal end like this.
“I can promise you that this hard decision won’t change anything in my mindset — I will continue to train as best as I can and wherever possible use my voice against inhumanity and for justice.” — Sports Reporter/BirminghamLive/The Sun