“That’s where I’m trying to be – where Jack Grealish is at the moment. That’s the plan. I can already feel the love from the Villa fans, but I want to be in that bracket of being an icon for the club – a legend. That’s what I aspire to be.”
That was what Andre Green said back in January 2019 after he returned from a short-term loan spell at Portsmouth, vowing that he would be following in the footsteps of Villa’s talisman by really stepping up to the plate after gaining some experience elsewhere.
But fast forward almost two years later, and the 22-year-old now finds himself without a club, having been one of 14 players released by Villa over the summer.
It’s quite telling that even whilst we’re in December, Green still hasn’t managed to find himself a new home, and it’s a far, far cry from the kind of potential and career that many had envisioned for him when he was first making his breakthrough.
In fact, back in April 2016, it was claimed that the likes of Arsenal, Tottenham, Manchester City and Liverpool were all keeping tabs on the then 17-year-old, and that they had sent their top scouts to watch his performances.
It was even suggested that he was rated by club staff as being an even better prospect than Grealish himself.
Hailed as an “exciting” talent by Lee Bowyer after Charlton had signed him on loan earlier this year, Villa must take some serious responsibility over how things have turned out for the winger.
In total, he made just 48 first-team appearances for the Premier League side before his release, and there’s a real argument that those involved in picking the clubs he was sent out on loan to, really failed him.
He could have been left at Portsmouth following his impressive start there (he scored five times in ten games), and then barely played at all for Preston North End last season, before eventually being sent to Charlton for the second half of the campaign.
It was just a case of complete mismanagement, and it’s criminal that one of their most promising talents wasn’t given the best tools to really prove his worth at the club.