After narrowly avoiding the drop during the 2014/15 season under Tim Sherwood’s guidance, Aston Villa fans were concerned that next season could be a disaster.
Sherwood kept his job after guiding the club to a 17th place finish but knew that he needed some reinforcements during the transfer window if he was to make the following campaign a success.
The board backed him heavily as well, splashing out nearly £60million on new recruits in the summer window alone.
They were all exciting signings and really teased the Villa Park faithful with a successful season but there was one more big money arrival to come.
This is FLW Rewind where we take a look back at a big decision made by a club, analyse the initial reaction and document what happened next.
— Aston Villa FC (@AVFCOfficial) July 31, 2015
Jordan Veretout arrived at the club for £9million from FC Nantes and was expected to be a star in the middle of Sherwood’s midfield.
In Ligue 1 during the previous season, Veretout was directly involved in 14 goals in 36 appearances, scoring seven and assisting seven.
So it was no surprise that his arrival hugely excited the Villa fans:
@AVFCOfficial yessss. Good signing villa going in the right direction. Prob be at city in 2/3 years bt cant wait to c him in claret and bleu
— Jim owen (@Ozy125) July 31, 2015
@AVFCOfficial great signing!
— Luke Barber (@LukeBarber87) July 31, 2015
— Gaz Williams (@Gazvilla) July 31, 2015
— Joe (@JayJavfc) July 31, 2015
But these hopes of the Frenchman becoming a long-term solution to their midfield unravelled over what was a disastrous season.
That is not a slant on Veretout’s personal performances, however, as he really did do his best in what was a shambolic time.
He racked up five assists for the club and when you consider they only scored 27 goals all season it is made all the more impressive.
Neither Sherwood or Remi Garde could save the club as they finished rock-bottom of the Premier League by 17 points.
The French midfielder left in the summer to St Etienne on loan and then to Fiorentina on a permanent deal where he has recaptured his form, scoring 11 goals and assisting three since the start of last season.
Oh, what could have been for Villa.