Last night’s rumors that suggested Aston Villa were about to take Tottenham Hotspur midfielder Josh Onomah on loan turned out to be accurate. Spurs tweeted today that the midlands club, who were relegated from the Premier League in 2015, will be taking Onomah on loan for the duration of the 2017-18 season.
But there’s more, and it’s important if you are a fan of Joshy: at the same time, the club also announced that Onomah has signed a new contract that will keep him a Tottenham player through 2020-21.
The folks at 7500 to Holte are pretty excited about this loan, and they should be. Jack Grealish is out injured for the next three months, and Onomah’s ability to play both as an attacking midfield and deeper as a box-to-box playmaker should serve him well at Villa Park, who are hoping to make a push for promotion back to the Premier League this season.
Onomah himself told Aston Villa’s official website that he’s ready to go.
“I can’t wait to get started. This is a huge football club and I want to really make my mark here and prove to be a player the manager can rely on. I know that promotion is the aim and I am here to help us achieve that.”
Joshy will hopefully get plenty of opportunities to play, something that it appears he wasn’t going to get while at Spurs this season. Equally important, Tottenham have reaffirmed that he is a player that is in their future by signing him to a long term deal. That helps assuage my fears that Pochettino had lost faith in him and was ready to cut bait.
As for Spurs, they just loaned out one of their possible central midfield rotation options, leaving Victor Wanyama, Mousa Dembele, Eric Dier, and Harry Winks as the only first team central midfielders. Surely that means a CM signing is coming soon, yes?
Onomah is eligible to play in Villa’s opening match against just-relegated Hull City this weekend.
UPDATE: Right after posting this, an article in the Independent dropped about this loan, which provides some context on the Onomah loan and Pochettino’s mindset in agreeing to it.
The worries about Pochettino loaning players are usually founded, especially with young players. Poch doesn’t like loaning out his youngsters because he wants to keep them with his current coaching staff, learning from him and his assistants instead of potentially picking up bad habits at other clubs.
According to Jack Pitt-Brooke, Spurs received offers to loan Onomah from Huddersfield, Brighton & Hove Albion, and Burnley, and also one from Celtic. Pochettino rejected all of them before changing his mind and allowing him to head out to Villa Park. This seems to be a change: Poch is willing to let Josh get some experience — the first time he’s ever gone out on loan in his career — and at his preferred central midfield, even though he thinks Josh’s ultimate role is farther up the pitch.
This is great news for those of us who want to see Onomah as a box-to-box player, but also super frustrating. Pochettino turned down loan deals from three bottom-half Premier League clubs and one club that will play European football this season, and now is sending the youth prospect arguably closest to the first team to the Championship instead, to play under Steve Bruce. Huddersfield in particular would’ve been great: David Wagner plays a pressing system that’s not too dissimilar to what Pochettino employs at Spurs, and it would have been a good opportunity to get valuable Premier League minutes.
It’s good that Poch is willing to change his mind about the loan system, but I’d rather see Joshy plying his trade for a year in the Premier League and not the second division.