Aston Villa appear to have fully moved on from that fateful 2015/16 season which saw them relegated to the Championship for the first time in their Premier League history.
They narrowly missed out on a return to the second-flight last season but have come on leaps and bounds since, smashing Liverpool for seven goals earlier this season and now, they find themselves inside the top six going into the international break.
Many at Villa Park would’ve been glad to see the back of much of Tim Sherwood’s faltering squad but one player has actually thrived since then, clinching four major trophies.
That man is Idrissa Gueye, who originally signed for the Midlands outfit in a £9m deal from Lille before his £7.1m release clause was triggered by Everton.
Where is Gueye now?
The decision to include such a low figure was a disastrous decision from then-chairman Randy Lerner as Gueye’s value has skyrocketed since.
As per Transfermarkt, the Senegalese international is now worth around £21.6m, which is rather generous in itself as he’s cemented his place down among some huge names like Neymar, Angel Di Maria and Kylian Mbappe.
The 31-year-old has started seven of ten Ligue 1 matches this term, as well as featuring against Manchester United and RB Leipzig in the Champions League too.
Gueye averaged 3.3 tackles, 1.7 interceptions and 1.2 key passes per game, via WhoScored, on PSG’s way to winning the domestic quadruple.
And whilst Villa now have the likes of Douglas Luiz and John McGinn pulling up trees in Smith’s midfield, you can’t help but feel the club could have benefitted more from a player that Sherwood once lauded as a “monster.”
The French giants paid the Toffees £30m for his signature in the summer of 2019, which makes Lerner’s call to put a £7.1m release clause within his contract look like one of the worst pieces of business Villa has ever seen.
AND in other news, Aston Villa dodged a £18.5m bullet with one target this summer…
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