2) Brad Guzan
The American international goalkeeper was initially signed by former manager Martin O’Neill in 2008. Guzan has showed great patience to overcome work permit issues, competition for places and being released by the club at the end of the 2011-12 season. Paul Lambert would resign the shot stopper and Guzan finally made the number one spot his own during the 2012-13 season. Player of the year awards would follow as Guzan played a huge role in securing Villa’s survival under Paul Lambert and his performances under the Scotsman generally continued to impress. Despite the club continuing to fight relegation on a yearly basis, Guzan was a standout performer for a considerable period of time.
It became apparent however that as Villa continued to suffer at the wrong end of the table, Guzan’s confidence began to drain and a number of individual mistakes began to appear. During Tim Sherwood’s tenure as manager, Guzan was dropped following an error against Manchester City. In addition, Guzan played no part in Villa’s FA Cup run that season and missed out on a place in the FA Cup final side. It would mark the second time in his Villa career that he would be overlooked in a showpiece final.
This season Guzan’s performances have deteriorated further and show no sign of improvement. Continuous errors have occurred and Guzan was dropped at various points of the season with Mark Bunn deputising. Guzan has always been known for his good shot stopping and ability at claiming crosses but there have always been question marks over his distribution. A clear lack of confidence has saw Guzan by in large remain on his goal line during matches, show a lack of command of his penalty area and looked very shaky when dealing with shots. Guzan has become a target for the fans who respond to positive moments of goal keeping with ironic cheers.
If Villa is going to challenge for promotion back to the Premier League then the goalkeeper area is something which needs to be addressed. In the past Guzan has very much been Villa’s saviour but in recent times his performances have left a lot to be desired. A move away from Villa Park would surely give Guzan a chance to kick life into his career.
Mark Bunn has previous experience of playing in the Championship and whilst question marks remain on his credentials as a number one, Bunn would surely be a useful squad member at Championship level. In addition, the club still hold high hopes for third choice keeper Jed Steer. Next season could be the perfect opportunity for Steer to cement a challenge for the number one spot.
Guzan is also a high earner at the club and Villa will be looking to cut the wage bill wherever possible next season.
Click Page 3 below to see the next player Villa should get rid of next season.