FanView: What's Next for Villa's 3 Unwanted Players & Do They Have a Future at the Club
While much of the noise on transfer deadline day was made by Virgil van Dijk, Philippe Coutinho and Alexis Sanchez, who remained at their respective clubs, little press attention was given to Aston Villa and their unresolved transfer issues.
Over the past weeks Villa boss Steve Bruce has tried to shift Tommy Elphick, Ross McCormack and Micah Richards; all three of whom are no longer part of his first team plans.
However, the 56-year-old failed to sell any of the trio and they will now remain at the club until at least January.
So what's next for Elphick, McCormack and Richards? And do they still have a future at Villa Park?
The former Bournemouth defender was subject of a bid from Sunderland on transfer deadline day, but the Black Cats failed to meet Villa's valuation of the player. Despite Elphick falling down the pecking order at Villa Park, it appears he still has a place in Steve Bruce's plans.
Bruce claimed just days prior to transfer deadline day that he had 'no problem' if Elphick were to remain with the Midlands club:
"If nothing happens before the window closes then I will be delighted to still have someone like Tommy Elphick around," he stated.
Therefore, it appears likely that Elphick will remain as back up to the first team over the next few months
Stranger things have happened than him earning his place in the team back, but in reality Bruce has not been a fan of the 29-year-old since first arriving at the club and it appears unlikely he could oust John Terry, James Chester or Chris Samba from the heart of Villa's defence.
Given his experience at Championship level, Elphick will not be short of suitors in January and should any of them reach Villa's valuation of the player, he will likely leave the club in the next transfer window.
McCormack was the subject of bids from Sunderland and Leeds during the past few weeks, but his enormous wage package seems to have put off all interested parties.
The striker was frozen out by Bruce earlier this year, who criticised McCormack's attitude after the infamous electric gate incident.
McCormack was sent out on loan to Nottingham Forest for the second half of last season, but returned to Villa Park this summer.
The former Leeds and Fulham man failed to resurrect his floundering Villa career and has now fallen behind youth players Keinan Davis and Callum O'Hare in the pecking order.
It seems impossible that McCormack will play again under Bruce, who will be aiming to sell the Scot in the next transfer window.
Richards hasn't played a competitive game for Villa since last October and he now appears to have fallen behind the club's youth players in Bruce's plans.
The former England international was given an opportunity in the first team during pre-season, but he failed to impressive the Villa boss.
Yet worryingly for Villa fans, while Elphick and McCormack have attracted potential suitors, Richards has not been linked with a move away from Villa Park.
Rumours even suggest that the 29-year-old has no plans to leave the club, owing largely due to his huge wages (reportedly around £50,000-a-week).
Undoubtedly Bruce wants rid of a player who is not fit for first team duty, but finding a club willing to take a gamble on a former Premier League winner seems impossible.