While Aston Villa manager Paul Lambert has received criticism for the acquisition of lower league talent that has subsequently failed at a higher level, the Midlands side have made plenty of other questionable signings down the years that will live long in the memory. The most recent of strange signings include Yacouba Sylla, Aleksandar Tonev and Brett Holman - all players that have barely lasted a full season at the club before being loaned out and eventually sold or released. Aston Villa dont have the best track record for signings, due to the vast amount of players brought in through desperation, while their penchant to sign experienced Premier League stars meant them bringing in failed players whove just racked up a lot of appearances. But who are Aston Villas strangest ever signings - the players whose moves to the Midlands proved head-scratching at best and utterly, jaw-droppingly odd at worst? To say that the club have had more than their fair share would be an understatement, but a band of ten unlikely figures emerges from the pack and deserves to be considered as the very strangest.
Crippy Cooke, 23, is a freelance Football Writer contributing to What Culture. He's had work featured on Zoo, MSN, London 24, The Telegraph, The Huffington Post, and was recently named Writer of the Year on FTBpro - while also a nominee for Best Male Blog in the Football Blogging Awards.