Aston Villa have had their fair share of bad signings over the years. Not necessarily bad players, but also players that haven’t worked for whatever reason. In this article, we will have a look at some of the worst Aston Villa signings ever.
Here are the 10 worst Aston Villa signings ever –
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10. Ivo Stas
You might not remember him because he never actually kicked a ball. The classy Czech midfielder had impressed Villa manager Jo Venglos during a UEFA Cup tie between the clubs but was injured in his first training session at Bodymoor Heath and didn’t actually play a competitive game for the club.
Signed from Czech side Banik Ostrava for £750k in 1990, the stopper appeared in a couple more friendlies before returning to Czechoslovakia the following year.
9. Habib Beye
Beye arrived for £2.5m from Newcastle United in the summer of 2009. At 31 years of age, the right-back was at the wrong side of 30. But, the likes of Luke Yong and Carlos Cuellar restricted the former Marseille captain to a handful of appearances.
The most baffling thing is that the player was on an eye watering £42,000. In the end he was released from his contract and ended up at Doncaster Rovers.
8. Jean Makoun
It is amazing to think that Makoun has only been at Villa for 18 months following a £6.2million move. He played just seven games in the second-half of 2010/11, and then actually joined Olmpiakos on a season long loan in August 2011, just seven months after joining.
Looks as if Villa may have paid nearly £1million per league appearance. Nice work. Definitely one of the worst Aston Villa signings ever.
7. Stephen Ireland
Ireland came to Villa off the back of Man City’s purchase of James Milner. He looked like a player who had been told to go to the Midlands against his will. This was reflected in his performances.
Ireland was valued at £8 million as part of his switch, cost Villa a forture in wages. He left for Stoke two years later and looked like a decent footballer again.
6. Charles N’Zogbia
Ashley Young made his way to Manchester United in the summer of 2011 and we needed to fill his void. Charlie N’Zogbia looked to tick all the boxes following a stellar campaign with Wigan Athletic having practically kept them up singlehandedly.
However, he was a massive anti-climax at Villa having cost little over £10m. In five years at Villa, he earned around £17m in wages and chipped in with just four goals. He even refused to accept a pay-off in the final months of his contract as he was happy to sit on his £66k-a-week wages.
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5. Eric Djemba Djemba
Having been practically driven to Villa Park by Alex Ferguson for £1.5 million, he immediately looked like he’d never seen a football. So bad was Eric, that the jokes about him were not jokes, they were accurate recollections of just how poor a footballer he was.
The world had already been warned that he was useless during his disappointing time at Manchester United. Why on earth did Villa bother wasting £1.5m on his services?
4. Gilles De Bilde
De Bilde was described as “a non-trier” and criticised for a “lack of effort” by then Sheffield Wednesday’s manager Paul Jewell. De Bilde intially refused the loan deal from the Championship side on the grounds that he had nobody to feed his dogs.
Only when Jewell agreed to feed them in his absense, he accepted the 3 month loan deal. Suffice to say, his stay was devoid of both effort and anything worth recollecting.
3. Curtis Davies
After joining Villa from West Brom initially on a loan deal, Davies must have impressed the club because they paid £8million to make the move permanent. Since then, it is almost as if Davies rested on his laurels completely.
After initially holding a first team place, he then lost out to James Collins and Richard Dunne, and after two years moved on loan to Leicester City. Villa cut their losses by selling him for £3.5million to rivals Birmingham.
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2. Sasa Curcic
A tricky, exciting and terrifying player for Bolton, Villa fought off the competition to get him to Villa Park. £4 million? Bargain. What panned out was an unmitigated disaster.
A handful of appearances from a player who promised everything but who was a shadow of the player who lit up the Premier League. A wasted talent who never refound his form or appetite to succeed in the game.
Curcic fell out with Brian Little and John Gregory, moved to Crystal Palace for £1million, won the Serbian version of Big Brother and gave the following quote: “There is a world of difference between football and sex – no question about that. I can’t achieve an orgasm by looking at a team-mate, but it would be a totally different matter with Cindy Crawford.”
1. Bosko Balaban
A certainty for the number one spot, Balaban regularly features on lists discussing the worst ever Premier League footballer. The fact that the striker cost £5.8million, and yet never scored for the club makes the case complete.
Balaban’s Croatian compatriot Davor Suker – a man who lit up the 1998 FIFA World Cup and played for Real Madrid – said upon the player’s arrival at Villa Park in 2001:
“Balaban is an exciting player. He scored a lot of goals for Dinamo and I can see him scoring many goals for Villa. He’ll be a star in the Premiership.”
Zero goals, nine appearances, seven as a substitute and released on a free two years later. Ridiculously, Balaban scored 23 times in 55 games for his country!
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