It has been a tough start to The Championship season for Steve Bruce and everyone else connected with Aston Villa. They have turned it around recently with two consecutive wins but still only have four points on the board from their four league outings so far. This is not the best start for a side that was expected to challenge for automatic promotion before the season kicked off earlier this month.
Bruce, in particular, has been under pressure following this slow start but remains confident that he is the man to turn Aston Villa’s fortunes around and get the club back to the Premier League. However, he has had limited funds to use in the transfer market this summer due to the amount the club spent this time last year under Roberto Di Matteo to try and win promotion back to the top flight at the first attempt.
The likes of Ross McCormack, Jonathan Kodjia, Henri Lansbury, Scott Hogan, Connor Hourihane and so on have all arrived at Aston Villa over the last year for hefty fees. This has put Bruce into a position in which he cannot spend much money due to fears that the club could fall foul to Financial Fair Play regulations implemented by the Football League thus resulting in Bruce acquiring Robert Snodgrass on loan.
We take a look at whether the 29-year-old could be the ‘final piece of the jigsaw’ in regards to Bruce’s squad at Villa Park.
Snodgrass has a point to prove
It has not quite worked out for the midfielder since he joined West Ham in January from Hull City for a fee of around £10.2 million in January. He signed a three-and-a-half-year deal at the club, but for some reason, he never seems to have been fancied by manager Slaven Bilic. This has resulted in him making only 15 appearances for the Hammers in the Premier League, and he has not managed to score a single goal.
He will certainly not be happy with how his spell in East London has gone, and he will be looking to get his career back on track with Aston Villa. If he can help get Villa promoted to the top flight this season, then he may well be able to prove Bilic wrong or possibly even still have a future at West Ham next season.
A successful working relationship
Snodgrass’ move to Aston Villa appears to be a very sensible one for everyone involved. It will see Snodgrass reunite with former manager Bruce having previously worked together at Hull when they gained promotion to the Premier League via the playoffs a couple of years ago.
Bruce is a manager who knows how to get the best out of Snodgrass and will be hoping that he can help him earn yet another promotion from The Championship. There is no doubt that the midfielder has the quality to be an exceptional addition to Aston Villa if he is utilised effectively. His left foot is bound to create many opportunities for his teammates and the likes of Hogan and McCormack are likely to be very excited about his arrival.