Aston Villa have ended their association with winger Marc Albrighton and striker Nathan Delfouneso after allowing the two players to leave the club on a free transfer. The players were out of contract in the summer and the club has decided not to renew their deals. Albrighton, who has been with Villa for 16 years, will now be searching for a new club. Delfouneso has made more than 50 appearances for the club in his career, which started as a 17-year-old against Icelandic side FH Hafnarfjorour in 2008. His debut came in the UEFA Cup, while it was also the same case with Albrighton who featured against CSKA Moscow in 2009.
The exit of these two players brings an end to a glorious era for the club’s youth academy, which has been famous for producing several players. Striker Gabriel Agbonlahor has also been linked with an exit with his contract running down in a few weeks. Agbonlahor, Albrighton, and Delfouneso all came to the youth Academy at the club during the regime of Martin O’Neill. After running into financial difficulties over the last few years, the club has now been put up for sale by owner Randy Lerner. Hence, the future of the owner, manager, and the squad is a major doubt ahead of the new season.
“We wish Marc the best in his future career and acknowledge the contribution he has made to the club over the past several years having graduated from our academy. We also wish Nathan the best for his career and thank him for his efforts since he, too, graduated from our academy,” said the Villa manager in a statement on the club’s official site. He is not thought to have a lot of transfer budget to bring in players in the summer, while his own future is in doubt.