Aston Villa rejected the opportunity to sign Portugal international Joao Palhinha in the summer, it has emerged. The midfielder, who went on to sign for Fulham instead, has been a star presence for the Cottagers as they have exceeded all expectations on their return to the Premier League.
Wolverhampton Wanderers were another club interested in signing Palhinha from Sporting Lisbon a few months ago, but he ended up at Craven Cottage in a deal worth around £17.2 million.
A new report today (November 17) from Football Insider has revealed Villa in fact ‘snubbed’ the chance to sign the 27-year-old. The Villans do of course have great depth in midfield, but it is rather surprising that another option - especially of Palhinha’s quality - was not brought in.
The now-Fulham star has made more tackles in the Premier League this season than any other player, with 65 completed in just 14 appearances. The player with the second most is Leeds United and USA midfielder Tyler Adams, whereas Tomas Soucek (47) and Alexis Mac Allister (44) lag behind in 3rd and 4th.
Comparatively, the highest figure set by a Villa player this term is 38 - as experienced Scottish international John McGinn leads the way. The reported snubbing of Palhinha could well go down as a mistake at Villa Park, especially given the poor season the Lions have had.