10 forgotten Aston Villa players from the Premier League era
Aston Villa are on the up again under Unai Emery — but they have suffered some darker times in the Premier League era.
Having spent just three seasons out of the division since its inception in 1992, there are plenty who have failed to live up to the billing or even gone on to better things after leaving Villa Park.
We look at 10 players you may not recall ever having played for the Villans.
Jermaine Jenas (2011)
Injuries were hampering Jermaine Jenas' dwindling career when he was handed a lifeline on loan at Villa from Tottenham in August 2011.
Sadly, the 21-cap former England international's problems would persist as Villa fans witnessed just 108 minutes of action from Jenas across three appearances.
Adama Traore (2015-16)
Most Premier League fans will know Adama Traore for his electric performances for Middlesbrough, Wolves and now Fulham but Villa were actually his first English club.
The explosive winger arrived as a 19-year-old from Barcelona in the summer of 2015 but was used frustratingly little by four different managers in a doomed campaign that saw the West Midlanders relegated with a measly 17 points.
Robert Pires (2010-11)
One of Robert Pires' best ever Arsenal goals was a delightful chip over Peter Schmeichel at Villa Park — but few remember his brief stint playing in claret and blue.
The Frenchman, then 37, signed a six-month deal with Gerard Houllier's outfit in November 2010 but was not the same player that lit up North London.
Joe Cole (2014-16)
Joe Cole had already struggled to hit his previous heights as a youngster during ill-fated spells at Liverpool and West Ham when he rocked up at Villa in 2014.
The former West Ham, Chelsea and England star's biggest contribution during his two-season spell — one of which was spent on loan at Coventry — was his mentoring of then emerging talent Jack Grealish.
Kyle Walker (2011)
While many of the names on this list were at the club during the twilight of their careers, Villa was where Kyle Walker had his first run of games in the English top flight, on loan from Spurs.
Now a five-time Premier League winner with Manchester City, it is safe to say the 81-cap England international's promising spell at Villa was no false dawn.
Grant Holt (2014)
Grant Holt's arrival from Championship Wigan to Paul Lambert's relegation-fighting Villa in January 2014 feels as bizarre now as it did at the time.
Replacing the goals of injured talisman Christian Benteke was always going to be a tall order for the striker-turned-wrestler and he scored just once in 10 appearances.
Gary Cahill (2000-08)
A product of Villa's academy, Gary Cahill is perhaps a player the club see as one that got away.
The defender was shipped off to Bolton by Martin O'Neill in 2008 before going on to enjoy a stellar career with Chelsea — winning two Premier League titles and the Champions League.
Ryan Bertrand (2014)
Sandwiched in between his shock Champions League final appearance for Chelsea and his respectable top-flight spell with Southampton, Ryan Bertrand turned out for a struggling Villa side in 2014.
After seven loan spells from Chelsea before his switch to B6, the left-back proved he was Premier League ready after starting 16 of Villa's 17 games in the second half of the campaign.
Idrissa Gueye (2015-16)
Though another member of Villa's infamous 2015-16 relegation squad, Idrissa Gueye was one of few players from that season to emerge with a glimmer of credit.
The Senegalese international earned a move to Paris Saint-Germain for his form for Everton after leaving Villa and remains a solid performer for the Toffees since returning in 2022.
Chris Sutton (2006-07)
Chris Sutton is one of just two players to move from Birmingham to bitter rivals Villa during the Premier League era.
With just a goal for each side in 2006, there is little doubt that the striker's best years were spent before arriving in the Second City at Norwich, Blackburn and Celtic.