Aston Villa release ex-Birmingham man

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Aston Villa have enjoyed a fine start to the Premier League season.

Dean Smith’s side almost fell through the trap door last term but were able to avoid relegation on the final day of the 2019/20 campaign.

And since then, they have been taking steps to ensure they do not face another campaign of relegation fears.

This summer has seen the signings of Ollie Watkins from Brentford, Bertrand Traore from Lyon, Emiliano Martinez from Arsenal, Matty Cash from Nottingham Forest and Ross Barkley on loan from Chelsea.

It is an eye-catching list of acquisitions, particularly those of Martinez, Watkins, and Barkley, and they have helped Villa enjoy an unbeaten start.

Smith’s men have beaten Sheffield United 1-0 and also thumped newly-promoted Fulham 3-0, taking six points from a possible six.

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With the transfer deadline on Monday, more business can be done, and Villa have taken the step of releasing a first-team player.

The club announced on Saturday that they had terminated the contract of Jota, the attacking midfielder.

Villa signed Jota from local rivals Birmingham City last summer, and he made 16 appearances for the club, scoring once and registering two assists.

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He has played in 2020/21, coming off the bench against both Burton Albion and Stoke City in the EFL Cup, though he was unable to stop their surprise 1-0 defeat against the latter.

He will now be looking for a new club following Villa’s decision.

GIVEMESPORT’S Harry Sherlock says…

Jota is something of an enigma.

He clearly had the talent to become a first-team star at Birmingham but that may well have been his level.

He struggled immensely when called upon in the Premier League, as he made just four starts and six substitute appearances.

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Per WhoScored, he averaged 0.6 shots per game, 0.4 key passes, 0.7 dribbles, and a pass completion rate of just 78.5%. He was dispossessed 1.3 times per game.

This is not a Premier League player.

Cutting him loose was the best option and Jota will now have the option to find a club more suited to his abilities, likely in a lower division.

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