While the focus may have been more on the new players that arrived at Aston Villa during the recent January transfer window such as Philippe Coutinho, Lucas Digne, Calum Chambers and Robin Olsen, the Midlands club were also rather busy when it came to moving certain players out of the club on loan deals.
One player that ended up joining another club away from Villa last month was winger Anwar El Ghazi, who made the move to fellow Premier League side Everton on loan until the end of the season.
Since joining the Merseyside club, the 26-year-old, who is currently picking up a weekly wage of £38k-per-week according to Salary Sport, has only played nine minutes of action for Frank Lampard’s side which came during their 3-0 win over Leeds United when he came on as a late substitute.
With that in mind, it’s safe to say that his loan spell away from Villa has been particularly fruitful for the Dutchman yet.
Having only made three substitute appearances for Villa since Steven Gerrard was appointed as their manager back in mid-November, it’s understandable why he was moved out elsewhere in an apparent effort to find regular game time, something he hasn’t had at Goodison straightaway.
Looking ahead to the remainder of the season and beyond, it could be worth the Midlands club finally bringing an end to the winger’s time at Villa Park if his loan deal with Everton doesn’t end up being beneficial for the winger.
With Villa having an option to secure the signing of Coutinho on a permanent basis in the summer when his current loan deal ends, if they were to keep him at the club beyond this season, this wouldn’t do much for El Ghazi’s chances of getting regular game time under Gerrard in the future.
Despite being labelled as a “nightmare” to come up against on the training field by former Villa defender Alan Hutton, the winger was anything but scary on the pitch before he joined the Toffees with just one goal and one assist to his name in the league this season, making him a liability in the team if he isn’t able to provide regular goal contributions.
Thus, cashing in on El Ghazi in the summer should definitely be in Villa’s thoughts if he doesn’t make the most of his time at Everton and isn’t likely to have a future back at Villa Park.