Opinion

Why Aston Villa’s Tenuous Orjan Nyland Links are Worrying

Norweigan goalkeeper Ørjan Nyland has been linked with a move to Villa Park, potentially paving the way for a Jed Steer exit – or even showing defiance from Steve Bruce.
Words by Regan Foy (@FindFoy)

Yesterday brought about news that Aston Villa were close to signing Norwegian goalkeeper Ørjan Nyland from 2. Bundesliga side FC Ingolstadt 04.

This news came as an exclusive from The Daily Star and was then later reported by the Express and Star – with both outlets saying that the ‘keeper could be joining within days.

27-year-old Nyland, who’s career highlights include 27 appearances for the Norwegian National Football Team and man-of-the-match performance in the Norwegian Cup Final in 2012, would be the fourth goalkeeper in the Aston Villa squad, and the second to sign this summer.

Only earlier this week did young Portuguese goalkeeper Andres Moreira join Aston Villa from Atletico Madrid on a season long loan, which throws some relatively interesting questions into the air.

Moreira is a Jorge Mendes owned player, a fact many Aston Villa fans are now aware of. Could the signing of Ørjan Nyland be some kind of defiance from Bruce? We don’t know whether Moreira was someone Steve Bruce had looked at himself, or whether new owners Sawiris and Edens sactioned the transfer because they were working with Mendes.

If the above turns out to be true – could the signing of Nyland be somewhat of a middle finger from Bruce? If that’s the case, we could certainly see a rift growing between the ownership and management quite quickly – unless the results on the pitch prove to trump that.

Interestingly though, the Villa twitter community has unearthed a number of tweets from a few years back, where the goalkeeper was linked to all-and-sundry across the Premier League and Championship, including Aston Villa’s rivals Birmingham City. This could quite easily be an agent attempting to drum up interest in his player, gifting him a new contract with his current club or just getting the conversation surrounding him started again.

 

 

The real worry that this provides comes in a number of forms for the claret and blue.

Firstly, Jed Steer has been tipped all season to be taking the number one shirt (perhaps metaphorically, as no ‘keeper at the club has taken it) over Mark Bunn, and more recently Andres Moreira. When Aston Villa announced their squad numbers for the season ahead, the traditional #1 for a goalkeeper was taken by neither of the three options. This could mean that there’s an agreement between Jed, Andres and Mark that a bit of friendly competition is welcomed, and none of them will take the number as a good will gesture.

But, it could quite easily be because another option (Nyland) is on his way. This would almost certainly be the end of Mark Bunn’s Aston Villa career, with the 33-year-old being the fourth choice. Earlier in the summer it was rumoured that the club had take up a one-year extension option on Bunn’s contract – smart at the time – but almost worthless now.

If Villa have a buy option at the end of Andres Moreira’s loan deal – then what was the point? If he doesn’t play due to Nyland signing, it’s not going to be worth sanctioning his purchase – that’s another worry.

Should Ørjan Nyland sign, it’s quite likely that Jed Steer would leave the club on loan. It wouldn’t make sense for his career to be a number two, or a number three – when he’s been in that position for the vast majority of Aston Villa career.

The above is just a few of the issues raised by the links to Ørjan Nyland, and we’re sure there’s a few more. Whilst the links are relatively tenuous, they are a little worrying.

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