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City, Liverpool begin Sterling transfer saga

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Kevin Hughes Aston Villa  By Kevin Hughes

Benteke and Delph departures a cruel blow to Sherwood and Aston Villa

ESPN FC's Paul Mariner says Aston Villa have lost a hugely influential player in Christian Benteke.

Aston Villa will be hoping to avoid another season of relegation scrapping under Tim Sherwood in 2015-16. Here's a look at what to expect from Sherwood's men as we approach the new campaign.

Preview

Sherwood is determined to keep Villa away from the usual relegation battle but the loss of Christian Benteke and Fabian Delph is a huge blow to his prospects.

Biggest concern

The current squad just won't be good enough to stay out of yet another relegation struggle, particularly after losing star duo...

Kevin Hughes Aston Villa  By Kevin Hughes

Ayew arrives as Sherwood's new-look Aston Villa takes shape

ESPN FC's Paul Mariner weighs in on Christian Benteke's potential role in Brendan Rodgers' Liverpool side this season.

Jordan Ayew has made an encouraging start to his Aston Villa career without even kicking a ball. Confirmed as a new signing on Monday afternoon, almost immediately the striker was making claret and blue friends. "It took 10 seconds to work out he was the right coach for me and Aston Villa was the right team for me," said the 23-year-old, reflecting on his first meeting with manager Tim Sherwood and providing a mini-masterclass on how to create the perfect first impression at the same time.

In...

Kevin Hughes Aston Villa  By Kevin Hughes

Relief for Villa faithful after nonstop Benteke transfer talk

Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers believe the players brought in during the transfer window will help his Anfield side rebound from a poor season last season.

The struggle to keep hold of a star player wears everyone down eventually, and with Christian Benteke finally now moving to Liverpool, there are feelings of regret, but also relief.

For two of the past three summers, Villa fans have lived through near constant speculation about the Belgian striker's future; it was kept off the agenda in 2014 probably only because he was recovering from his ruptured Achilles tendon and therefore was effectively off the market. Since before May's FA Cup Final,...

Kevin Hughes Aston Villa  By Kevin Hughes

Fabian Delph delivers cruel betrayal by leaving Aston Villa for Manchester City

ESPN FC's Alexis Nunes and Tommy Smyth try and figure out what is going on inside the head of Aston Villa midfielder Fabian Delph.

Fabian Delph's decision to sign for Manchester City is a cruel betrayal; a kick in the teeth to each and every Aston Villa fan.

It is still difficult to absorb.

In the space of a week, the midfielder has gone from the brink of joining the Manchester club to changing his mind and pledging his loyalty to Villa, and finally to completing an astonishing U-turn and signing for the former Premier League champions. Suddenly, there was a photograph of him undergoing a medical, followed swiftly by official...

Kevin Hughes Aston Villa  By Kevin Hughes

Shay Given's time at Aston Villa was disappointing due to instability at club

Shay Given played in 32 league appearances for Aston Villa in his first season there but just five since.
 

Amid the feverish speculation surrounding the future of Fabian Delph, the outgoing transfer of another Aston Villa player was confirmed. Goalkeeper Shay Given quietly left the club, joining Stoke City.

His departure brings to an end a rather curious four years at Villa Park. Given's experience probably encapsulates the often chaotic state of play at the club over the last few years perfectly. Much like Darren Bent, who joined Villa six months before the Irishman and also left this summer,...

Kevin Hughes Aston Villa  By Kevin Hughes

Fabian Delph had no shortage of reasons to stay at Aston Villa

ESPN FC's Alexis Nunes and Tommy Smyth talk Manchester City's continued interest in Fabian Delph.

It's been a difficult past 24 hours for Aston Villa supporters, but the news that Fabian Delph is staying at the club is cause for celebration.

On Friday evening, multiple media sources were reporting he had agreed personal terms on a transfer to Manchester City, and that he was undergoing a medical. Unhappy fans braced themselves for the inevitable announcement -- the sale of the captain seemed a formality.

By Saturday afternoon, though, Delph released a statement on the club website to confirm...