The 2015/16 season for Aston Villa, much like this current one, was miserable.
Back then, the Villans were relegated to the second tier, managing to pick up only a paltry 17 points as they finished rock bottom. They spent a considerable sum back then, too – £59.9m, to be exact, although not quite the £100m+ they parted with last summer – yet it did little to help their bid for survival.
Jordan Amavi was one of those who made the switch to the Midlands prior to the start of the term and he, like many others, will not have enjoyed his time at Villa Park. Now, though, he is flourishing back in France, with Marseille.
Here, we take a look at how he is getting on.
It was at OGC Nice where Amavi made his name in French football. He came through the youth system there, and would end up playing 60 times for them, scoring four goals – two more than he has managed anywhere else. That convinced Villa to make their move, and they decided to pay £9.9m for his services, as per Transfermarkt.
He actually made just 10 appearances during that fateful season, but he was one of the better performers. He picked up a WhoScored rating of 7.48 and, had it not been for a cruciate ligament rupture in November, he would have likely played an awful lot more.
When he returned though, he failed to make the same impression in the Championship. Under Steve Bruce, he started 26 matches, but managed an average rating of just 6.79. That would prove to be his last campaign for the club – he moved on loan to Marseille in 2017.
Moving back to his homeland has done him the world of good. He made 27 Ligue 1 appearances during his first campaign with L’OM, managing six assists along the way. He also impressed in the Europa League – he played 11 matches, managing an average rating of 7.14 as Marseille made the final. Although they lost to Atletico Madrid 3-0, it was still a promising season.
That convinced Marseille to sign him permanently, and they parted with £9m for his services, as per Transfermarkt – that meant Villa made a small loss. He played regularly once more in the league, featuring 28 times as Marseille finished fifth in the table.
This season, both himself and Marseille are really enjoying themselves. He has started 26 out of the 28 league matches they have played to date under former Chelsea and Tottenham manager Andre Villas-Boas, as the side from the south of France currently sit in second position in the table behind PSG. When football finally resumes, they will be in prime position to qualify for next year’s Champions League.
Now valued at £10.8m by Transfermarkt, he was rather unfortunate at Villa, but now he is reaping the rewards his talent deserves.
At 26, it will be interesting to see how far he can go.