Aston Villa’s recent transfer activity has been rather solid, with the club managing to entice the likes of Boubacar Kamara and Diego Carlos to the Midlands, two players who have the potential to improve the Villa starting XI significantly while also having the potential to make the club a profit if sold in the future.
It hasn’t always been like this though, with the summer of 2013 proving to be a particularly horrifying transfer window for the club.
Under the stewardship of Paul Lambert and coming off the back of a poor 15th place finish in the Premier League, Villa were going nowhere and fast. Summer arrivals included Leandro Bacuna, Jores Akore, and Aleksandar Tonev, hardly names to rejuvenate a Villa side who should really be aiming for a top-half finish.
There was one particular signing that Lambert had a major howler over, however, with the Scot signing a Serie A striker for £7m and who he hoped would provide competition for Christian Benteke…
The then 24-year-old had shown a glimpse of his talents at Lazio, scoring 22 goals for the club in 80 appearances, with 11 of those coming in the Europa League.
It was this scoring rate in Europe secondary competition that convinced Lambert to sign Kozak, with the manager saying:
“Libor has an incredible scoring record in the Europa League and showed proper potential in leading the line.”
What looked initially like a sound investment, soon turned into a nightmare for the Czech striker. He made just 22 appearances in all competitions during his four-year association with the club, netting a paltry four senior goals, which worked out at £1.75m per goal, a terrible return.
Tom Victor later described how he was “baffled” by Kozak’s career and with having a lot of potential, especially to impress on the European stage as he did at Lazio, it turned out to be a nightmare the moment he moved to the Premier League.
Now 33, Kozak is turning out for FC Slovacko in the Czech first top flight, even scoring in the Europa Conference League. Since leaving Villa in 2017, the striker has scored a grand total of 38 goals in five years.
He certainly had the opportunity to make an impression in the Premier League, but it turned out to be a move that will surely make the Villa faithful wince when they think of his name.