10 Players Who Probably Regret Leaving Aston Villa

Leaving Villa Park doesn't always lead to positive things...

Christian Benteke

If you were expecting a blank list, then think again.

As hard as it might be to believe, there are actually some players out there who wish that they had not left Aston Villa - even as soon as last summer.

There are no prizes for guessing who that particular player is but regardless of whether Villa have been competing for European places at the top of the Premier League table or fighting to avoid relegation from the top flight, there are examples of when members of the first-team squad should have stayed put rather than believing that they could achieve bigger and better things elsewhere.

We'll admit that it took some extensive research in order to compile a list of 10 players worthy of featuring on this list but even Villa themselves must wonder what could have been had they been able to tempt some of these players into committing to playing in Birmingham for a longer period of time.

10. Gordon Cowans

Christian Benteke
© Colorsport/Corbis

Gordon Cowans is considered to be one of the greatest players to wear the claret and blue shirt but his time at Aston Villa would come over three separate spells.

It's an impressive feat to be held in such high regard after spending three periods of your career at the same club but it also demonstrated that the midfielder was always longing to represent Villa whenever he was given the opportunity.

In a distinguished first spell in the West Midlands, he won the First Division title and a European Cup before spending three years at Bari.

It had been written into his contract that Villa had first option on Cowans should he ever leave the Italian club and both parties agreed to the move as soon as he became available.

Ron Atkinson would eventually sell him to Blackburn Rovers but it wouldn't be long before he returned to Villa once again for another season.

There's no doubt that Cowans would have taken plenty from the experience of playing in another country but his heart was always at Villa and a part of him must wonder if he would have achieved more at the club had he remained in Birmingham.


A degree-educated, dart-throwing, non-smelling sports journalist based in a small Staffordshire town that has just become Floyd Mayweather's answer to the question: "What's the strangest place you have ever visited?"