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Will The Lure Of Old Trafford Again Descend On Villa Park
The brightest talents with the most as yet unproven potential are undoubtedly Barry Bannan and Gary Gardner.
Barry Bannan is pure football, give him a ball to caress with his sweet left foot and he will ping passes both short and long for 90 minutes, that is providing his fellow team mates are brave enough to find space to get into rather than covering it.
This last line raises the issue if he is that good then why has he not shown this consistently for Villa this season?
The current defensive approach suits hard working physical players and although Bannan works hard at this side of his game it is blunting his armoury of subtle skill, fantastic touch and range of passing.
Well the answer is also there and it boils down to the tactical approach adopted by the whole team and that is to not risk going out of position for fear of losing possession and so limiting the options available when a creative player gets the ball.
Gary Gardner is an interesting prospect for different reasons; He is more of a box to box player with a reputation for a good eye for goal. Goal scoring midfielders at Premiership level are worth millions and although he is yet to make his full premiership debut there are many expert eyes making notes of his every run, touch, pass and shot while he is on loan to Coventry City.
When I look at the top teams who could genuinely entice either of these two budding talents from B6 there is just one club that would fit with their transfer policy; Manchester United.
Alex Ferguson has a reputation for signing great potential and actually giving them an opportunity to play in a great free flowing footballing side and with the gaping hole in Uniteds centre midfield you can be sure that Fergies scouts will be burning up the motorway miles looking at potential talent.
The problems with Uniteds centre midfield run deeper than what a potentially great young player could bring so I expect Sir Alex to alter his tactics and embrace the January transfer window with a relish unseen in previous seasons.
I expect United to go for a major signing but also go for young potential as well and I genuinely see Barry Bannan as being a perfect fit for what the United midfield requires.
Bannans fellow Scot Darren Fletcher who is also out for the foreseeable future has probably already briefed Sir Alex on young Bannan and ex-Villain Ashley Young certainly knows a thing or two about his precocious talent from many games at Bodymoor Heath.
It grieves me to say this but a player like Barry Bannan would really thrive in a team like United with attacking instincts and where a ball playing midfielder actually has a few options to choose when picking a pass.
So the above hypothetical scenario raises the question would Villa sell if an offer from Old Trafford found its way to the fax machine in B6?
I believe under this current regime Villa would definitely sell as fancy footballers are not really required in a midfield where the manager is prepared to play full backs and centre forwards there in an effort to stifle the opposition.
I would much rather Villa played their most attacking line up and try to beat the opposition rather than contain them. Like most Villa fans I want to see the team I love play attractive football and attack the opposition. If this means being on the receiving end of the occasional hiding then so be it.