Andreas Weimann has been one of the diamonds in a very rough season for Aston Villa and he is certainly someone, anyone connected with the club will be worried about losing.
He’s scored five goals in 19 matches this season which doesn’t tell the whole story because he’s been more effective than his stats suggest.
If the club go down, Villa have to offer Wiemann certain assurances to get him to stay at the club.
The first, and most obvious, is not hitting him in the pocket too hard. Weimann is not a money grabbing or money mad person but the financial aspect of what other sides can offer him will be far greater.
Therefore, Villa have to make it a priority to ensure that Weimann remains on his current deal or on a deal which is very similar. Keeping the financial impact as minimal as possible is the first step.
The second step is to guarantee his place in the side which is a little more difficult because it’s been a bit random as to how he’s been used by Paul Lambert. He’s only started 15 games this season which is progress from last season, when he broke through, but it hasn't exactly been week in week out selection.
It’s all about regular games and starts because this is a 21-year-old Austrian who has already played for his country at five different levels. He’ll want to improve on his three senior caps for Austria and he can’t do that if he’s not in the team.
Another easy way the club can keep Weimann is to not produce a mass exodus of players which would severely damage the team.
There will be some changes but the basic shape and system the team uses can’t be altered dramatically. If it is then Weimann could see it happening and may try to engineer a move away if he doesn’t like what he sees.
However, the most overwhelming, logical and basic thing Aston Villa can do to stop Weimann leaving at the end of the season is to use a bit of common sense and talk to the player if the worst comes to worst and relegation follows.
That basic level of decency and respect could go a long way to someone who clearly loves the club and doesn’t really have a desire to go anywhere else.
How important do you think Weimann is to Villa?
image: © Ben Sutherland