After a mediocre and rocky season welcomed Aston Villa into the Championship following their relegation from the Premier League in 2016, fans were hoping for a more successful time of it in the following campaign.
A midtable finish did not please the fans after Roberto Di Matteo’s summer appointment did not work well at all, being replaced by Steve Bruce midway through the season.
But, with Bruce now able to mould his own squad, they had a good chance to build for a very real promotion push and everybody at the club knew this.
It was a shrewd window more than extravagant one, however, with only seven new faces arriving and just over £2million being spent.
Glenn Whelan and Ahmed Elmohamaday were the only men to demand fees with Chris Samba, Josh Onomah and Robert Snodgrass also arriving on free deals or loans.
But the biggest name to arrive at the club that summer was also one of the first.
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.
✍️ #WelcomeJT: It's official – John Terry signs…
— Aston Villa FC (@AVFCOfficial) July 3, 2017
That man was none other than Chelsea’s legendary centre-back John Terry.
Having left Stamford Bridge in the summer, he was not ready to hang up his boots just yet and decided to make the step-down to try and bring Villa back up.
His arrival was one that the fans absolutely loved as well:
— Zack Yeomans (@Zack_Yeomans) July 3, 2017
What a signing that is
— Jake Walker (@jakey_25) July 3, 2017
VIVA JOHN TERRY
— Mitch (@avfcmitchhh) July 3, 2017
Welcome john terry
— ????????????????john durrant???????????????? (@john_Durrant98) July 3, 2017
And Terry’s presence was absolutely crucial as Bruce took the club to the very cusp of a top-flight return.
He was made captain, and forming a rock-solid partnership with James Chester, played 32 Championship matches, missing ten with a metatarsal fracture.
At the end of the season, having kept 16 clean sheets, Villa finished in fourth place.
After seeing off Middlesbrough in the playoff semi-finals, in which Terry was a colossus at the back in both legs, the club found themselves just one win away from a Premier League return.
Sadly, it was not to be. A goal from Tom Cairney booked Fulham a return to the top-flight instead and ultimately signalled an end to Terry’s short but influential time at the club.
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