Report: Nine senior Aston Villa players to be axed this summer after Di Matteo decision
By Amir Mir
Aston Villa are set to axe Gabby Agbonlahor, Micah Richards, Joleon Lescott, Brad Guzan and Leonardo Bacuna, according to a report.
HITC, citing the Sun (Tuesday edition, page 47) newspaper, which claims Roberto Di Matteo is preparing to trim his squad of nine senior players in total this summer after four have already left.
As reported by Football Insider, the newly appointed Villa boss confirmed on Monday that he is ready to trim his squad as he has up to 30 senior players in the ranks.
The Midlands side suffered a disastrous relegation last season amid fans protest over the running of the club by then-owner Randy Lerner and the continuous catastrophic and careless performances by individual players.
Villa striker Agbonlahor was put on a fitness regime towards the end of last season, but with one goal to his name all season, the boyhood Villa fan is in line depart the club.
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Scoring goals was not the only issue for the Championship side with 76 goals conceded by the club last term.
Goalkeeper Brad Guzan has faced plenty of criticism from the fans for his constant error-prone performances over the last 24 months.
It is said with Kieran Richardson, Charles N’Zogbia, Callum Robinson and Jose Crespo the only players departing the club this summer, the Italian is now prepared to offload more.
Richards and Lescott were both signed by then-manager Tim Sherwood in the summer of 2015, but a calamitous partnership at the centre of defence for the former England men has now seen their futures look increasingly bleak.
Di Matteo signed defender Tommy Elphick from Bournemouth for a fee of £3 million, which more than likely puts one of their futures in doubt.
Leonardo Bacuna was utilised in many positions last season, most notably in the middle of the park where he failed to cement a place in the side.
The 24-year-old arrived at Villa Park in 2013 from Dutch side Groningen, but the Villa man has seen himself face huge criticism from his supporters after admitting last season he wants to play Champions League football- even though he struggled to get into a side that was relegated with 17 points.