In rather surprising news yesterday, Aston Villa announced the release of academy graduates Marc Albrighton and Nathan Delfouneso. After finishing fifteenth in the Premier League, the club decided against renewing the contracts of the twenty four year old winger and the twenty three year old striker.
Out of the two players though, it was the release of Albrighton which has caused debate between Villa fans on social media. After 101 appearances and nine goals in his sixteen years at the club, recent reports have heavily linked Albrighton with a move to Premier League new boys Leicester City.
Having figured so prominently in the latter half of the campaign, many Villa fans were shocked that Paul Lambert allowed the winger depart on a free.
Amazed Marc Albrighton has been released by Villa. He tortured Luke Shaw a month ago… And is much better than nearly every recent AV buy
— Jim Proudfoot (@JimProudfoot) May 20, 2014
Surprised to see Marc Albrighton released. Thought he was a decent player
— Cleon (@Cleon81) May 20, 2014
We’ve released Albrighton. It’s the start of the exodus of the good players we have left i feel. Im worried. Very very worried. #AVFC
— dan. hodges. (@dannhodges) May 20, 2014
Ok, he was never perfect, but why has Lambert released Albrighton when he was our best player in last third of the season? #avfc
— Arran Sutherland (@ArranSutherland) May 20, 2014
Aston villa is turning into a joke, releasing our best player! This is stupid man, Albrighton was the only one who played for the shirt!
— Sam (@SamHannaLB) May 20, 2014
Others believed the decision was regrettable but understandable.
Shame about Albrighton; great attitude. But I think both Grealish & Carruthers more naturally gifted. Hope they get chances in 2014-15 #avfc
— Kevin Hughes (@KevHughesie) May 20, 2014
Marc Albrighton being released is criminal, but offering him £35,000 a week would be just as bad. Wish him the best. #AVFC
— Daniel Bevington (@DanBevz) May 20, 2014
Always thought Albrighton had alot of talent, just don’t think villa got the best out of him!! Good free transfer for a lowly prem team imo
— just MONITORING!!! (@DeanFlanagan) May 20, 2014
If Grealish is given regular first team involvement next season because Albrighton has gone I will accept that #avfc
— chalkonyaboots (@Chalkonyaboots) May 20, 2014
Some even argued that it was a good move as in their eyes, Albrighton had flattered to deceive and was a symbol of the club’s declining standards.
Re: Albrighton – a mostly average winger who’s crosses either go out of play or over our striker’s heads #avfc
— Anthony Williams (@Holte139) May 20, 2014
Don’t see the issue, simple we get taken over, we will be looking at top class players hopefully, Albrighton is not top class!
— • Dean Laud • (@deanlaud) May 20, 2014
25 this year, injury prone. I don’t see the fuss about Albrighton given we even saw Jordan Bowery whip in a good cross….#avfc
— murph (@murphavfc) May 20, 2014
I don’t think I’ll miss Albrighton flailing all over the place. He did some nice things but I think he’s hit his ceiling, new blood needed.
— Tyler Bills (@villadelph) May 20, 2014
It’s a sign of the times at #AVFC that a player as mediocre as Marc Albrighton getting released can cause such a fuss.
— Cian Carroll (@TheCianCarroll) May 20, 2014
In any case, the release of Albrighton has certainly proved divisive amongst the Villa faithful.