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Developing so much young talent will do Aston Villa little good if they allow them to walk out the door.
During Villa’s previous run of European football, English internationals such as Ashley Young, James Milner, Gareth Barry and Stewart Downing were largely responsible for the club's sustained success.
By the start of the 2011/12 season, however, none of those players were still with the club. Despite the larger transfer sums received, a team cannot succeed when critical components are routinely sold off.
Earlier this summer, it appeared that Villa were in for more of the same when Christian Benteke requested a transfer after his highly-successful debut season. Much to the surprise and relief of the fans, Benteke reversed his decision just 11 days later, committing to a new four-year deal.
Benteke was not alone in receiving a new deal at the club; Lowton, Weimann, Westwood, Baker and Ciaran Clark recently signed new contracts to stay at Villa. This commitment by both the players and the club is a sign of changing times in Aston Villa’s transfer policies.
Lowton, upon signing his new contract, summed up the faith within the team for Lambert, as reported by Dan Ripley in the Daily Mail.
With the new signings this season as well as some players signing new contracts, the likes of me and Ashley [Westwood], Andi [Weimann], Brad [Guzan], Ciaran [Clark] and Nathan [Baker], it shows the club is moving forward and it's really exciting to be a part of that.
A return to European football relies on players committing to being a part of a carefully constructed team whose experience growing and playing together makes them an even greater force collectively than individually.
Additionally, it falls on Villa’s management and owner Randy Lerner to resist the allure of short-term gains by selling in-form players.
The American should continue to commit to a vision of a team capable of evolving into a force at the top of the table.