Two moves, one surprising, the other not so much, opened up spaces in the Aston Villa first-team. Yannick Bolasie and André Moreira depart the claret and blues six months early from their respective loan deals.
Yannick Bolasie and André Moreira are no longer Aston Villa players.
The pair, from parent clubs Everton and Atlético Madrid, arrived in the summer with high expectations and equally high ceilings. Unfortunately, it just didn’t work out for either player. The 23-year-old Moreira began the season as Villa’s No. 2 goalkeeper under former manager Steve Bruce. He made two appearances in the Carabao Cup – playing well, and even making a penalty save in the process.
When Villa faltered to eventual semi-finalists Burton Albion in the second game, Moreira’s chances dried up. Then Bruce got the axe, then Mark Bunn jumped him as deputy under Dean Smith, then Jed Steer was recalled, then Lovre Kalinic was brought in on a big deal.
That was it for Moreira at Villa. He could wind up being a solid goalkeeper somewhere, but it wasn’t going to be here. Feirense, a top flight club in Portugal, already snatched the Atléti ‘keeper on loan.
News of Yannick Bolasie’s loan termination came more abruptly, but it wasn’t the most shocking move when you break it down. He was struggling, mightily, as a starter. Smith brought back André Green for development time as a young option, potentially eating into Bolasie’s time. Apparently, he wasn’t too keen to stay at Villa:
Losing Bolasie isn’t ideal, of course, considering the equally disappointing recent play of fellow wingers Anwar El Ghazi and Albert Adomah. However, Bolasie turns 30 later the spring and he was never a serious candidate for a permanent transfer. Instead of paying his very high wages, Villa can instead allocate those funds to lock-up younger players, make a transfer, or help avoid FFP sanctions.
The aforementioned Green, El Ghazi, Adomah, and Jonathan Kodjia can get the job done out wide, but it’s up to Dean Smith to make it work.