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Ranking Our Record Signings


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I stole this idea from another forum on which people have posted about the club they support.

Rankings are from S (best) to F (worst).

This is what I came up with for us, some of my memory is a little hazy on some players, but I'd be interested to see what everyone else comes up with, and see what everyone's views are on mine.

S Rank

Ashley Young - £11.9m, from Watford

I'd say he's our only player who could be considered for this rating from the list. Was so effective for us as an inverse winger, getting it onto that right foot and whipping precise balls in, as well as chipping in with goals. Our best player in MON's 'challenging for Europe' seasons, at times lethal on the counter attack.

A Rank

Emiliano Buendia - £34.5m, from Norwich

This one is a prediction given he's only had half a season with us. I'm possibly a little biased as he's the type of player I love to watch, but he's clever with a unique passing range, the player we'll look to to get the creativity going, and he's also tenacious in the press. His first few months have been stop start, but I'm pretty confident he'll end up a very good signing.

Tyrone Mings - £20m, from Bournemouth

I have to put Mings in here. Don't know if we can include his loan spell, in which he was hugely influential, but even if not, he's been a massive presence and leader for us in the Premier League. He has mistakes in him and isn't as intelligent a defender as Konsa, but for the time he's been with us I think we'd be a lot worse off without him. A player who can inspire the team, just look at his run against United to get us into a decent position which got us back into the game. On the bad side of this, he often unneccessarily overplays, which, given his body language when doing so, I genuinely believe is an insecurity of his ability on the ball at this level, so he tries to convince himself he can do it. He also gets involved in unnecessary battles and commits when he shouldn't, Joelinton did him one-on-one four times in one game for example, and had quite obviously got in his head, which does seem easy to do. The more I write, the more I think he should maybe be in B :D

James Milner - £13.5m, from Newcastle

He was a bit of a monster for us playing in central midfield, he was the driving force of our team and his energy often set the tone for our performances.

Ezri Konsa - £12m, from Brentford

Bargain. Inconsistent in his first season, he has grown as a character and been excellent since. A classy centre back, good on the ball, who always seems to know when to commit and when to stand.

B Rank

Emiliano Martinez - £15.7m, from Arsenal

Been largely very good for us. People got carried away when he first joined us. Has made mistakes but also been an excellent shot stopper and a great personality. Distribution is strong also.

Douglas Luiz - £15m, from Man City

His talent was obvious (although not to everyone!) in his first season with us, he started playing as an 8, and would make mistakes (as expected as a kid in a pressured relegation battle), but would also have real moments of quality (goals VS Norwich and Bournemouth, and his assist VS Brighton away) which really stick in the mind. He was inconsistent, and post lockdown Smith played him purely as a DM. And for our run-in, he was our best player by a distance. Mopping up, calm on the ball, picking passes. Superb. Since then though, he's been inconsistent again in the DM role. Gerrard moved him back to play as an 8 when Nakamba was fit and he started to look a better player again, but with Naka now injured he's back as a DM. I think he sometimes lacks a bit of physicality but he is a very clever footballer, and his form which kept us up in 19/20 secures his place in the B category.

Juan Pablo Angel - £13m, from River Plate

Bit of a hero for many Villa fans and did come good after a more than ropey start. Scored some very good goals. 44 goals in 175 league games can't get him above a B rating for me though.

Stewart Downing - £11.7m, from Middlesbrough

Annoyed many when he left, but he was pretty damn effective for us. Technically superb, and I reckon he got a fair few assists for us. He played a big part in keeping us up in 10/11, just before he left.

Jonathan Kodjia - £11.5m, from Bristol City

Yep, B! When Kodjia came in, I was at VP for his debut. Blasting shots into the stands during the warmup, I thought we'd signed another Bosko Balaban. Turns out we had signed a player we really needed at that time who was actually a good finisher. In that team, he was often the only positive spark. Skilful, good finisher, quick, hard worker, determined, always showing for the ball. He was banging the goals in in his first and second seasons. I remember one game, QPR away, and he was immense. If no-one else wanted the ball, Kodjia would have it, and try and make something happen. He could truly score goals out of nothing. His time with us went a bit sour in the Prem, he had injuries, his workrate dropped and Smith never really trusted him. A crazy, funny character, will never forget what he did for us in The Championship. He also chipped in with a few during our promotion season despite largely being a backup to Tammy.

C Rank

Ollie Watkins - £30.6m, from Brentford

Great energy, workrate and pace. Decent bits of skill. Average finisher, average football intelligence and poor link up player. Despite obvious weaknesses in his game, he's definitely been a positive for us and when he is on it, giving defenders a torrid time with his pressing, he's a huge asset. I feel it's a crucial time in his Villa career now. At times I do question his motivation as well.

Darren Bent - £19.3m, from Sunderland

My memory of Bent is a little hazy if I'm honest. I know his goals helped keep us up the season we signed him, but if I remember right he was pretty average after, although his numbers are decent, his all round game as we all know was never strong.

Bertrand Traore - £16.5m, from Lyon

I'm a big Traore fan as he's an absolute joy to watch in the final third. Sublime skill (does stuff with the ball other players wouldn't dream of doing), one of our best technical players who's actually calm in possession (was a breath of fresh air when we were relying on AEG and Trezeguet who are the opposite) and he's also intelligent with his passing (when in the final third). Also in his game, bizarre panicked clearances (and they always seem to be more across the pitch than up it), regular mishit long balls, and a languid style which looks like he has a very forced defensive workrate rather than a natural one. He actually played 37 league games for us last season, which surprised me, and got 14 G+A. Been a frustrating time for him this season, and unfortunately, I don't think he'll ever eradicate the frustrations from his game. No way I'd sell him right now though.

Matty Cash - £14.1m, from Nottingham Forest

Similar to Watkins in some ways. Energetic, positive, the type of player who can lift the crowd and team by flying into a tackle. He can also be a little rash (gets very impatient when defending at times) and is bang average on the ball. Can't beat a man with any sort of trickery if there's no space to kick it beyond them. His crossing I thought looked excellent in his first few games for us, feels like he hasn't put a decent ball in since. Despite his limitations I do like having him in the side for the positivity he brings. He's probably somewhere between B and C.

Matt Targett - £14m, from Southampton

Took him a while to become a regular for us, and I honestly really enjoyed watching Targett. He's a clever fullback, who could ping forward passes into feet in dangerous areas. His link up with Grealish was also a joy to watch, Grealish created the space for him, but Targett knew when to be there and more often than not would put a dangerous ball in. Also chipped in with a couple of decent goals. Won Player's Player of the Year last season which shows how good he could be. Despite all this, I feel he sometimes struggles physically, he often looks completely drained during games, and his lack of pace and ability to dribble with the ball will always limit him. When he was played as a wing back he was largely ineffective as he couldn't create his own space. I'm not sure he's the toughest mentally either. A more than solid backup now we've got Digne though, and a top lad!

Nigel Reo-Coker - £11.25, from West Ham

He was never spectacular but pretty consistent, reliable and a regular for us from what I remember.

Marvelous Nakamba - £10.8m, from Club Brugge

I don't know what to say about Nakamba really, very likeable guy who when played in a particular role, winning the ball, playing it simple, can be excellent. He's also had many games where he's looked panicked on the ball and you can see his nervousness. I don't think his passing technique is actually that bad either, he just panicks. Under Gerrard he was looking very good, so the timing of his injury is a real shame, but I do doubt whether Gerrard sees him as the long term answer there.

D Rank

Danny Ings - £26.5m, from Southampton

I was tempted to put Ings in E, but I'll hope he improves. He's scored a few decent goals, but has mainly been ghosting through games and looks so sluggish. Him and Watkins haven't clicked, and tbf Watkins is a difficult player to link up with. On paper, Buendia and Coutinho you'd think would probably prefer to play with Ings, but he's got to do better. He looked pretty good against Brentford away though so there is hope.

Jordan Ayew - £10.8m, from Lorient

I was one of the few that rated Ayew, but he did underachieve for us. A very skilful player, with no eye for goal, as Palace fans probably know. His time with us was a very difficult couple of years for the club.

Jordan Amavi - £9.9m, from Nice

Another player who was with us during that difficult time. Had so much promise, pacey, could dribble, beat a man and could cross. But he did have a few games where he looked awful and panicky. I think he's done well at Marseille since, although he's now on loan back at Nice.

E Rank

Wesley - £22.5m, from Club Brugge

Sad one this. Everton at home in his second game for us, he looked unplayable. He bullied Yerry Mina, scored with a tidy finish. After that, he largely looked out of his depth. Granted we only ever saw him play in a struggling side, but he never looked a number 9. He physically looks like a target man, but that wasn't his game. He was actually good at linking play and was quite a composed finisher, but that was all he had, or all he showed. It wasn't natural to him to try and get on the end of crosses. Probably best played as a support striker but he was all we had given Smith's reluctancy to play Kodjia at that time. Scored against Burnley in what was probably my favourite Villa performance from that season, and he then gets injured as Ben Mee takes the ball and the man. Could that have been a turning point for him? Club Brugge took him on this summer despite apparently failing his medical, so he's obviously got a long way to go to get back to what he was before he even came to us. He's back in Brazil now so fingers crossed for him. PS Ian Taylor who heard an exchange between Mee and Wesley in the first half of that game, was adamant it was intentional.

Morgan Sanson - £14.2m, from Marseille

Have to put him here purely due to how much he's been unavailable. If he can get fit and a proper run in the team, he has the potential to fall into a much higher category. Despite his mistake in a rare start against United, he did play well, and Gerrard said when he first joined us that he'll be a big player for us. Neat, tidy and aggressive, could well turn it around.

F Rank

Ross McCormack - £13m, from Fulham

£13m for 3 goals in 20 games, and a load of loans out. McCormack was obviously a brilliant player, but not for us. Didn't work, was rumoured to have a few off the field issues, complete failure of a signing from that fraud Dr Tony.

N/A - Leon Bailey, Lucas Digne. Although Bailey I can just see ending up as a D or below unfortunately.

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Kodjia > Watkins is certainly an interesting take (which I would massively disagree to) - but fair play. Kodjia left for nothing, whereas Watkins has enhanced his value.

Think it’s too early for all of the summer signings. Although not sure why you are down on Bailey, I think he’s looked excellent in a couple of his cameos.

Emi Martinez is currently our best player imo. Not sure what an “A” is, if it’s not signing one of the best keepers in the world for £15m.

Edited by Cizzler
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Wasn’t clear about the timescale or criteria for selection. For example, no Carew or Delph but you include JPA. Also, is there any measure of value for money, how many bangs we got for the. bucks paid?

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Just now, briny_ear said:

Also, not wishing to appear picky, but why is ‘S’ the highest ranking, then ‘A’ - ‘F’? What does ‘S’ stand for?

You've never seen S Rank anywhere before?

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1 hour ago, Cizzler said:

Kodjia > Watkins is certainly an interesting take (which I would massively disagree to) - but fair play. Kodjia left for nothing, whereas Watkins has enhanced his value.

I never looked at it like that. Player style/watchability influenced me there but I wouldn't remove Kodjia from B.

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