With zero appearances to his name this season in the Premier League, it’s fair to say things haven’t quite worked out for Bjorn Engels at Aston Villa.
The big Belgian has really struggled with injuries, and in his absence, Dean Smith has found a formidable central defensive partnership in Ezri Konsa and Tyrone Mings – the duo have been part of a back-line that have conceded just 30 goals this season in the top-flight (only two other teams, Manchester City and Chelsea, have let in less).
Earning a reported £55k-a-week, Engels is just picking up a pay-cheque while sitting on the side-lines, with the closest he’s been to any kind of action being as an unused substitute.
It’s been no surprise then that former Villa man Gabriel Agbonlahor simply claimed that Engels’ career at the Midlands club is over, and insisted that he just doesn’t have the right qualities needed to succeed at Premier League level.
He said earlier this year: “It’s time for him to move on. The problem with the Premier League now is you have to have pace in defence. Unless you’re an unbelievable defender and you can read the game unbelievably you need to have the pace at the back.
“That’s what Ezri Konsa, Tyrone Mings and Kortney Hause allow you. If they make a mistake they’ve got the pace to make up for it. If they’re left one-on-one they’ve got the pace to stop the attacker.
“The problem with Engels is that if he’s left one-on-one he hasn’t got that pace so he’s going to get found out a bit. That’s what it is, it’s one of those things.”
Given he cost around £9m to sign back in the summer of 2019 and has been pocketing £55k-a-week, Engels has cost an eye-watering total sum of £13.8m since he arrived at Villa Park.
When you factor in the fact he’s only played 19 competitive games for Smith’s side, then there can be no questioning that he’s been really stealing a living and is someone who Villa simply have to offload this summer.