Aston Villa’s turnaround in the Sky Bet Championship has been nothing short of remarkable, with Dean Smith’s men looking well on course to finish in the play-off positions come the end of the season.
If you go back a few months, Villa’s season was in limbo. Going into the latter stages of the January transfer window, they had been knocked out of the FA Cup and had won just two of their last nine league games, with their hopes of a play-off finish in serious doubt.
Their transfer window business was somewhat underwhelming too, with the likes of Lovre Kalinic failing to make an impact since his arrival from Gent, and Frederic Guilbert being sent back to Caen on loan straight after signing for Villa.
Fans were expecting Swansea midfielder Leroy Fer to sign on the dotted line on deadline day, with a powerful, strong holding midfielder exaclty what they needed to shore up the spine of their squad.
Instead, though, Smith swooped to sign Tom Carroll after a deal to sign Fer fell through. It was an addition that certainly divided opinions amongst the Villa faithful – not only did it come completely out of nowhere, but Carroll was also a diminutive, creative midfielder which Villa didn’t need to some extent.
It was a move that quickly went downhill, though, with the 26-year old making just two substitute appearances for Villa before returning to the Liberty Stadium due to injury.
What next for Carroll? The general consensus wouldn’t be too sure of an answer. After falling out of favour at Swansea before his initial loan move to Villa Park, he has hardly done enough to impress Graham Potter and force his way back into the first-team next term.
Swansea have plenty of midfielders similar to Carroll in terms of their playing style, and he’s hardly going to re-sign for Villa any time soon either.
Whilst plenty of players will go into the summer being courted by high-profile clubs, Carroll is a player whose future is certainly up in arms.