As the dust settles on another hectic transfer window, Aston Villa’s attentions will already have turned towards their plans for the following year.
Big decisions will have to be made, not just in terms of the kinds of signings that need to be made, but also which of Dean Smith’s current first-team squad need to be sold.
And one man whose future is really up for debate, is Ahmed Elmohamady. The Egypt international’s contract at Villa Park comes to an end in the summer of 2021, meaning that he will be free to negotiate a pre-contract with foreign clubs in January and thus eventually seeing him leave on a free transfer when his deal expires.
Whilst the right-back has proven to be an astute piece of business since arriving from Hull City in 2017 – he has made an impressive 117 appearances for Villa – the time is surely right for the club to say goodbye to him.
At 33, he’s way past the peak years of his career, and whilst he’s done well in terms of his longevity thus far, if Smith is intent on ensuring his side push on and establish themselves as a top ten club, then making ruthless decisions on players like Elmohamady have to be made.
The £25k-a-week earning ace has been a reliable performer and welcome dressing room presence for Smith, with the Villa boss waxing lyrical about the veteran right-back when he penned an extension to his deal in 2019.
He said: “He’s deserved it for his performances, which is what all players deserve to get new contracts from. He was integral to the 10-game winning run we had at the end of last season to get into the playoffs. If you captain a country like Egypt, you have to be a certain type of character and player. He’s established himself in our dressing room and the English game and he’s a very well respected and good player to have in our squad.”
With Villa also spending decent money on Matty Cash from Nottingham Forest, it already feels like the club are moving in a fresh and new direction. When Elmohamady’s contract comes to its end, the Midlands side should just bid a fond adieu.