Five clubs for Chelsea misfit Loic Remy after Aston Villa linked
Jamie Clark, Sports Editor | December 30, 2015
Former France forward Loic Remy, a proven Premier League performer, is attracting interest from other English top-flight teams in the winter window after being left out of the squad for Chelsea’s last match of 2015.
Blues boss Guus Hiddink insisted it was injury-related, with Remy apparently missing the 0-0 draw with Manchester United because of a calf problem.
Aston Villa have already declared their desire to sign Remy in January, but what are the pros and cons of joining up with near namesake Remi Garde and other potential suitors?
Coral football experts assess five Premier League destinations worthy of consideration.
No prizes for guessing where we start. Villans gaffer Garde was on Lyon’s coaching staff when Remy came through their academy, and clearly he hopes to use that pre-existing relationship to his advantage.
“Loic is special because he knows the country and the league and he would be an interesting player for the team,” Garde said. “He is part of some players I’ll try to attract to Aston Villa for sure.”
Are Villa, a team that is 11 points adrift of safety and rock-bottom of the Premier League, an attractive proposition, though? Other than guaranteeing Remy first-team football, the answer is a resounding no as they overwhelming odds-on 1/25 favourites for the drop.
There is no coach Remy has had since moving to England that has got more out of him than Alan Pardew and, with Palace sending loan flop Patrick Bamford back to Stamford Bridge, they could easily look to take the Frenchman temporarily instead.
Under Eagles boss Pardew at Newcastle United, Remy’s return of 14 goals in 26 top-flight matches in 2013/14 was incredible. Would Palace use him as a foil for Connor Wickham, or as an alternative with pacy wide threats galore supplying the striker at Selhurst Park?
A London location also appeals because Remy wouldn’t need to move and can link up again with Yohan Cabaye, with Pardew using previous connections to get the playmaker.
Both of his Premier League parent clubs to date have been in the capital with QPR and the Blues, and the Eagles are an upwardly mobile outfit that are well worth a punt at 5/2 for a top six finish.
Unlike Villa, the Magpies are more than capable of staying up in the Premier League (but also odds-on at 8/11 to go down), and it would be shrewd of Steve McClaren to try and tempt Remy back to Tyneside instead of gambling on a foreign signing like Alan Dzagoev.
The Toon remains a place where a strong French connection persists. Remy would link up with the likes of Moussa Sissoko, Florian Thauvin and others who share a common mother tongue with him.
What Newcastle are facing is an either or situation; controversial owner Mike Ashley is highly unlikely to allow McClaren to bring in more than one striking option, so the St James’ Park hierarchy have to decide whether to pursue someone like Charlie Austin, or persuade Remy to return.
The managerless Swans are seeking a striker, according to caretaker coach Alan Curtis, and as they are in the thick of a relegation battle (7/2 for the drop), but have a reputation for playing stylish football, that might be alluring.
Should he move to south Wales, this would be a chance to like up again with old Marseille teammate Andre Ayew, and their scoring exploits could help steer the Swans to safety.
Remy has more finesse than lumbering Liberty Stadium target man Bafetimbi Gomis, and better movement would certainly be welcome at Swansea. What detracts from this destination, though, is not knowing who is in charge of first-team affairs long-term.
Harry Kane is bearing so much of the Spurs scoring burden, and ruthless White Hart Lane chairman Daniel Levy has been frustrated in his pursuit of Saido Berahino to give Mauricio Pochettino striking options, so why not revive previous interest in Remy?
Originally losing out to QPR in the race for his signature during the winter of 2012/13, 10/1 Premier League title chances Tottenham may need to offload outcast winger Andros Townsend, who played with Remy at Loftus Road, first to free up squad space and extra funds.
Remy represents an experienced alternative to Kane, Son Heung-Min and other Spurs forwards, so that would give their squad greater depth, and he’s eligible to participate in their Europa League campaign that could help to re-raise his profile.