While a lot of focus was understandably on Jack Grealish’s record-breaking transfer to Manchester City during the previous summer transfer window, Aston Villa also managed to move a number of other players out of the club in the same period.
One player that made a move away from Villa Park last summer was midfielder Conor Hourihane, who joined Championship club Sheffield United on a loan deal until the end of the season.
Since arriving at the Yorkshire club, the 31-year-old has only started 11 of their 31 played league games so far this season, providing two assists, which both came in their 3-1 win over Hull City back in September, and scoring no goals along the way.
As well as his lack of regular goal contributions, the midfielder’s performance haven’t been much to shout about either, with WhoScored giving him an underwhelming overall rating of 6.65/10, making him one of the lowest-rated players still at the club.
With that in mind, his performances so far this season don’t suggest that Villa manager Steven Gerrard will be itching to have the Irishman, who is currently picking up a weekly wage of £42k-per-week according to Salary Sport, in his squad for their next Premier League campaign when his current loan deal with the Blades ends.
Having been described as “disgusting” for an altercation he had with Leeds United midfielder Mateusz Klich back in 2019 by Noel Whelan, the £2.25m-rated midfielder has racked up 151 appearances in total for Villa since arriving from Barnsley back in 2017.
Taking into account his lacklustre season at Bramall Lane and the fact that not only do Villa have a significant number of midfielders already in their squad as well as being linked with a summer transfer move for either Yves Bissouma or Wilfred Ndidi, it would be in everyone’s best interest for Johan Lange to call an end to Hourihane’s time as a Villa player when the current season ends.
While the Midlands club wouldn’t be able to pick up a transfer fee for him as his current contract at Villa is set to expire in the summer, there would presumably be some clubs willing to take him on a free.