Aston Villa’s new loan star Scott Sinclair has undeniably had a troubled time over the last few years. Ever since the pacey winger chose to make the £6.2m switch from Swansea City to Manchester City in August 2012, he has dropped off the footballing radar.
After an unsuccessful loan spell at West Bromwich Albion last year, many believed we had seen the last of the former Chelsea ace in the Premier League. The ex-England U-21 international returned to the Etihad Stadium in the summer, but still struggled to break into Manuel Pellegrini’s starting XI. That led to the now former Aston Villa boss Paul Lambert taking a punt on him in the January transfer window – with Sinclair joining from City on loan for the remainder of the season.
The Villa No. 9 has arguably done more for the Midlands club over the last six weeks, than he has done anywhere else for the last two-and-a-half years. Has the 25-year-old finally found his home at Villa Park? In his five league and cup appearances for the Villans, he has netted twice and made a huge impact to the Villa side going forward.
It’s no secret that Aston Villa are massively struggling to score goals, and new boss Tim Sherwood will be hopeful that Sinclair is the man who can provide that much-needed impetuous to help the club get out of the horrible mess they are in at present.
Sinclair opened the scoring in Sherwood’s first game in charge, but for Mark Hughes’ Stoke City to spoil the party, with a last-gasp Victor Moses penalty giving Stoke a 2-1 win.
But there were positives to take from the defeat, and Scott Sinclair’s early impact on his new club is certainly one of them. The ex-Tottenham interim boss told Villa’s official website:
“I was encouraged with some performances – Scott Sinclair, I thought, was very good, the two centre-halves were good, Kieran Richardson was very lively and Alan Hutton was a threat on the right hand side.”
Sinclair showed glimpses of his former self at Villa Park on Saturday, something we haven’t seen for a very long time. He scored a rare goal with his head, made some excellent runs, looked lively throughout and certainly troubled the Stoke defence.
The Manchester City loanee has proved he can do it before – he was instrumental in getting Swansea City promoted in 2011 – famously netting a hat-trick for the Welsh club in a 4-2 Championship play-off final victory over Reading. On his day, Sinclair can trouble any defence. He strikes you as a ‘confidence player’ and Aston Villa will be hoping Sherwood can give him this belief in order to improve their chances of beating the drop.
Tim Sherwood’s side currently sit in 19th place in the Premier League table – after securing only five league wins in 26 games – scoring a dismal 13 times in the process. The much-travelled journeyman Sinclair seems to be enjoying his life at Villa Park so far. The Villans still have as good a chance as any of keeping their top flight status, and Scott Sinclair could yet be the catalyst that Aston Villa so desperately need.