Aston Villa‘s transfer business this summer, in which they brought in Champions League players such as Diego Carlos and Philippe Coutinho, is a far cry from some of their business when in the Championship.
The Villans certainly spent big during their spell in the second tier but it didn’t always work out, with Ross McCormack perhaps the prime example.
However, his time at Villa Park was far less successful and it signalled the start of a serious decline for McCormack, who was recently released by non-league Aldershot after failing to score in just two appearances for the club.
His spell at Villa saw him make 22 appearances, in which he managed just three goals, meaning Villa paid Fulham £4m per goal, a shocking return for a striker in the Championship.
Attitude and fitness issues also plagued McCormack during his time at the club, and he struggled to recover from the public criticism he received from Steve Bruce after he missed training due to a locked gate.
The former Villa boss said: “In my opinion, he is not fit enough to play and he will not play unless his attitude towards training and missing training improves. If that improves then I will reconsider him but if he continues to miss training, as he has done, that will be the situation.
“There has been too much indiscipline here at Villa. Not in 20 years in management have I ever gone down this route but I feel I have to make a stance because I will not put up with it on my watch.
“He has decided the team has picked itself. How can I pick him when he doesn’t come into training? His failure to turn up for training has happened more than once. Everyone can have an excuse but when it is more than once I will not accept it.”
McCormack was eventually released by Villa in 2019 after a number of loan spells away from the club at the likes of Nottingham Forest and Central Coast Mariners, with his only decent spell coming with Melbourne City, where he hit 14 goals in 17 games.
Considering he is now 36 and without a club, retirement seems a likely next step for McCormack, who will surely go down as one of the worst signings in Aston Villa’s recent history.