Aston Villa are well and truly wasting a wage on Frederic Guilbert as the French defender continues to train with the U21s.
The right-back joined Villa from SM Caen in January 2019 in a deal worth £4.4m, initially re-joining the Ligue 1 side on loan before linking up with the Midlands club after the season’s finish.
He was something of a regular in Dean Smith’s side during the 2019/20 campaign, making 31 appearances in all competitions, in which he contributed two goals and two assists.
However, the former manager clearly wasn’t impressed and sent the right-back on loan to Strasbourg in January 2021, as Matty Cash had established himself as the first choice in that position.
He returned to Strasbourg once again in August 2021 having featured once more for Villa’s first team, contributing a goal and an assist in a 6-0 win against Barrow in the League Cup.
Despite being a regular for the Ligue 1 side last season, contributing four assists in 33 league appearances, he is yet to feature in Steven Gerrard’s squads this season and looks to be completely surplus to requirements at the Midlands club.
Whether his situation at the club changes following the injury suffered by Cash is yet to be seen but the fact that Gerrard selected Ashley Young as his right-back against Southampton suggests that Guilbert has no future at the club.
The 28-year-old is reportedly training with the U21s after missing out on a move away from Villa Park and the January transfer window will surely represent a chance for Villa to axe the defender for good, although they will be lucky to receive a fee at this point, given that his contract is set to expire at the end of the season.
Considering Guilbert has been a Villa player for 190 weeks now and earns £40k-per-week at the club, the Villans have spent around £7.6m in wages on the former Caen man.
This, combined with the £4.4m fee, suggests that Villa have essentially wasted £12m on a player that was perhaps never good enough for the Premier League and now looks set to leave for nothing in the near future.