David Villa’s time in the Australian A-League has come to a premature end after New York City brought an end to the Spanish striker’s loan deal with sister-club Melbourne City four games into his 10-match stay. While the former World Cup winner showed glimpses of the talent that made him one of European football’s most feared forwards, Australian football fans will be right to feel fairly underwhelmed by Villa’s short-time Down Under. Villa leaves Melbourne with the club seventh in the A-League ladder with two points from their opening four games, with the former Barcelona striker ending his time without recording a victory.
While Villa has struggled with injuries in recent years, he arrived in the A-League on the back of appearing at the World Cup for Spain, and Melbourne fans were right to feel as though they were gaining a player still near the top of his game at the age of 32. After ending his time in Barcelona in the summer in order to sign for new MLS franchise New York City, Villa was sent out on loan to the Melbourne branch of the growing Manchester City family in order to keep match-fit ahead of the 2015 MLS season. But despite originally arriving for a 10-game stay, New York have called an end to the loan and Villa is waving goodbye to his Melbourne team-mates without really making much of an impact.
Whether you bet on football or you bet on Aussie Rules, if you’re a betting fan you couldn’t help but be tempted to believe Melbourne City were going to be a real player this year in the A-League. While we’re still in the early stages of the season, the club don’t currently look as though they are going to be challenging near the top of the table this year. Villa had been tipped to make a massive impression during his 10 games for the club, with some believing the Spaniard could score enough goals to put Melbourne in a strong position to launch a push for honours during the rest of the season. With two goals in four appearances without a win, Villa’s time in Melbourne will probably rightly go down as an opportunity missed.
Head coach Coach John van ‘t Schip might have had one of the world’s best strikers in his team, but that has been about it. While Villa has been used to having some of the world’s best midfielders supplying him over the years, his team-mates in Melbourne have simply not been on the Spaniard’s level. It wasn’t an uncommon sight to see Villa throwing his hands in the air following another unsighted run behind the defensive line while his Melbourne team-mates wasted the chance to play him through. But van’t Schip needs to forget about his Spanish star now and try and get this Melbourne City side ticking. Without a win from their four opening games, betting favourites Sydney FC and Adelaide United have already put some distance between themselves and Melbourne City. The battle for van’t Schip is to now prove that there is much more to this side than David Villa.