The sale of Judas Downing has been on and off the cards for quite some time now, and it is almost a relief that a decision now seems to have been reached- all bar the fine details. However, with all animosity aside regarding Downing’s disgraceful conduct, it still leaves the fact that Lerner has effectively sold Villa’s goal supply from both wings in one transfer window. Losing Ashley Young is a big enough blow, but to now sell Downing after only days of him being declared as off-the-market is a very worrying sign indeed. The sale of Young can be understood to some degree, owing to the fact that he had only one year left on his contract. Downing, however, had two years left to run and we were under no pressure to sell him. Transfer requests from players should be torn up in front of their faces- it is not for them to decide when they are sold. The monumental error made here (and it is a very simple one) is that Downing has been sold before we have found a replacement even for Ashley Young. Liverpool could have been strung out for another couple of weeks until we had two new wingers, but Randy has seen the pound signs and has capitulated like a chocolate teapot. Liverpool have some role to play in this by tapping up Downing and unsettling him to the point that his career in claret and blue would have been difficult for him even if he had stayed. Villa Park would not have been his friend when the season starts. The significant question now is surrounding Darren Bent. He joined Villa on account of the goal supply, and now that has all but disappeared. So, will Benty be the next one to hand in a transfer request? We know that loyalty is not his strong suit either. It is a bad day for Villa, and it has confirmed our status as a selling club. Not because we have sold a player, but because of who we have sold and the circumstances in which our Chairman has buckled for cash. Downing did not deserve to wear the claret and blue for his conduct, but the way in which another key player has all but left the club illustrates why the ‘bigger’ clubs consider Villa Park to be an easy shopping centre for decent players.