Why Aston Villa sold Jaden Philogene in the first place as winger closes in on return

Jaden Philogene is set to return to Aston Villa
-Credit: (Image: Photo by MI News/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

Jaden Philogene was one of the most exciting players in the Championship last season after leaving Aston Villa for Hull City. As such, the level of interest in him this summer shouldn't have come as a surprise to anyone.

The winger was involved with 18 goals in 32 appearances under Liam Rosenior and went viral on social media following the Tigers' win over Rotherham when he directed the ball towards the top corner with a Rabona-style effort. He had turned heads during Villa’s pre-season tour of the USA to win a place in Unai Emery’s squad, but he wanted guaranteed football last season as it was deemed a crucial period in his development.

So criticism which came Villa’s way for letting Philogene leave was harsh, considering he essentially handed in a transfer request. Villa had just landed Moussa Diaby from Bayer Leverkusen and Leon Bailey was playing the best football of his career, so Philogene’s minutes would have been limited.

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However, now Philogene is poised to rejoin Villa from Hull in a deal which will be worth around £13m after Villa's 30 per cent sell-on clause into play as Villa had agreed an £18m deal with the Tigers. He would have received assurances over playing time given Philogene's previous comments about needed to play and also the amount of interest in him from Everton, Ipswich Town and Crystal Palace.

Previously it looked like Villa sold Philogene on the cheap, for just £5m, but now he has returned for just over double that, it's a good deal. Plus, there would have been a limited market for Philogene if they priced him at more than £10m, considering he had hardly kicked a ball in the top-flight and only spent time out on loan at Stoke and Cardiff without showing this level of form he did at Hull.

Explaining his reasons for leaving Villa last summer, the 22-year-old told the Sun: “I needed game time. At my age I can’t just sit on the bench, I need to keep playing and thought this was the best opportunity.

“You must keep working hard and stay in your game — and everything will come from that. The gaffer has helped me a lot here. He tells me to be myself and play my own game, be confident — and it’s working.”

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