MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - JULY 26: Danny Rose of Great Britain in action with Sadio Mane of Senegal during the Men's Football first round Group A Match of the London 2012 Olympic Games between Great Britain and Senegal, at Old Trafford on July 26, 2012 in Manchester, England. (Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images)
You may have noticed that Aston Villa have been linked with Danny Rose, of "that one goal against Arsenal" fame. Then again, it was the Daily Mail doing the linking, so I wouldn't blame you for avoiding it. It's worth looking at anyways, if only to prove a point. It's long been clear to most attentive football fans that young English players are drastically overvalued by the tabloid newspapers in England and the managers that almost certainly read them. We at Aston Villa know this, because we were able to sell a bunch of young Englishman recently for a lot more money than most of them are worth.
So I have to ask: what's so good about Danny Rose? Can we talk about Danny Rose, the footballer, while ignoring his Englishness and his (admittedly very nice) career highlight? It turns out we can't, really. At least not all that well. This is because Danny Rose has not played a whole lot of competitive top-flight football. He only started three games in the league last season, and got sent off in one of them for injuring Alan Hutton. While I'm a fan of that kind of behaviour in isolation, Rose is as inexperienced as any of Villa's recent academy graduates, if not more.
In addition to Rose's inexperience, it seems like he suffers from a bit of positional confusion. He is a natural left winger, but Harry Redknapp converted him to left back in 2011, claiming that fullback is where his future lies. This is the one thing about Rose that must interest Paul Lambert. As we've mentioned before, Lambert loves to let his fullbacks bomb forward to provide width in the attack. This width is badly needed at Villa, where many of our forwards prefer to drift inside, and players like Stephen Warnock are demonstrably not up to the task.
Who's to say Danny Rose is up to the task, though? He might not be a capable defender yet, if his poor tackling is any indication. There are a lot of question marks that still surround his abilities, despite the flashes of quality he's shown. The biggest question mark of all remains the nature of the move. The Mail speculates a season-long loan, which brings back memories of Kyle Walker's time with us. It was great at the time, but it always felt a bit hollow, knowing he'd be away again at the end of the season. Also, it's weird to think of Aston Villa taking Tottenham's young players to give them the charity of first-team experience, given how recently we were direct rivals. If we were to take on a project like Danny Rose, we should want to hold onto the results.
Which leads us all back around to the valuation of British footballers. Sunderland has been embroiled in negotiations with Wolverhampton for Steven Fletcher. Wolves are the biggest club Fletcher has ever played for, and while he was their best player last season, that's not saying much. But Sunderland may well end up paying well over 10 million pounds for him, for reasons that would be a mystery to anyone unfamiliar with Martin O'Neill's "stop at the water's-edge" transfer strategy. We've already lived that life, and I don't have any desire to return to it with a different face atop the Villa tracksuit. Before this transfer window closes, Newcastle United will likely own Mathieu Debuchy, a vastly superior fullback to Danny Rose. They won't have spent a lot of money to do so. They are the way forward now, and it's no longer worth it to hand over piles of cash or rights to a player's future just because you recognize their name.