Aston Villa have announced the signing of Kieran Richardson to a two-year contract. The left-sided player, who can player either in defense or midfield, joins from relegated club Fulham.
The signing of Richardson is Villa’s third of the season. He joins Joe Cole, who joined from West Ham, and Philippe Senderos, most recently at Spanish side Valencia, as the newest players to wear the claret-and-blue shirt this season.
The Villa, who battled against relegation last season but ultimately finished 15th in the Premier League, are struggling to reinforce their squad ahead of the upcoming season. While other clubs target flashy signings, Villa are constrained by a transfer budget that permits spending only if current players are sold. Owner Randy Lerner put the club up for sale early this summer, and unless it is sold prior to the start of the season, it is unlikely much will be spent.
Villa’s recent signings also show a marked change in strategy. For the past two seasons under Paul Lambert, the club has often spent little, but its targets were young players from outside the British Isles, primarily Northern Europe. All three of this summer’s signings have significant Premier League experience. They also are much older than the 21- and 22-year-olds brought in recently: both Senderos and Richardson are 29, while Cole is 32.
Lerner’s inability to sell Aston Villa leaves the club in a bit of a limbo. At this point, most fans are simply hoping that the added experience will reinforce the squad, and enable them to avoid yet another relegation battle.
Despite sitting at the top of the table in the Premier League, things are not going well for Manchester City.
Star striker and leading goalscorer Sergio Aguero suffered a torn hamstring while playing for Argentina, and now he is joined by David Silva on the injured list.
Silva lasted nine minutes in Spain’s EURO qualifying match against Luxembourg, forced off after taking a bad challenge from behind. Silva went down in pain and tried to play on, but asked for a substitution just minutes later.
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Spanish news outlet AS is reporting that Silva has suffered “lateral internal ligament damage in his right ankle,” and could face 2-3 weeks on the sidelines.
With Aguero set to miss at least a month, Silva’s injury could leave Manchester City without two of their top players in the coming weeks.
Silva has arguably been the best player in the Premier League this season, the quarterback of the City attack, which has scored a league-leading 19 goals through eight matches.
City travels to Old Trafford for the Manchester derby on October 25, which falls into that 2-3 week range for Silva’s recovery. In a match that could decide who sits top of the table, Manuel Pellegrini would be very shorthanded without Silva and Aguero.
Alejandro Bedoya will not feature for the United States in the CONCACAF playoff against Mexico on Saturday, and has been replaced on the roster by Bobby Wood.
Bedoya traveled to Los Angeles from his club team Nantes in France, but Jurgen Klinsmann has announced he will be unable to play after falling ill.
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Without Bedoya, Union Berlin midfielder Bobby Wood has been added to the USMNT side. Wood scored the first two goals of his international career this summer in wins over the Netherlands and Germany, and has scored four goals in ten matches for Union Berlin this season. Wood has been training with the U.S. camp throughout the week for the upcoming friendly against Costa Rica.
Bedoya has played well for the USMNT, discounting his short performance against Brazil in September. In that match, Klinsmann played Bedoya out of position against a potent Brazil attack, and he was substituted before halftime. However, playing in his more natural role as a winger or attacking midfielder, many believed Bedoya could be in line for a start against Mexico.