Date: 30th January 2011 at 8:04pm
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Wednesday completed their fifth January signing today in the shape of Aston Villa’s Isaiah Osbourne. Vital Villa’s Mike gives us the lowdown on our new arrival…

‘Osbourne is a connundrum to most fans,’ he said.

‘Under Martin O’Neill he was the favoured ‘youth/reserve’ promotion for a long time, gaining his debut as a substitute against Fulham back in 2006 and playing probably more games than his talent should’ve dictated given we all knew we had folks like Marc Albrighton and Barry Bannan waiting for their chance – although it is unfair to compare him and judge him in that way I suppose.

‘Nobody could quite see what O’Neill did when it came to young Isaiah but with the passage of time he seemed to fall out of favour and apart from short loan spells to Notts Forest and Middlesbrough he’s been a permanent reserve player who doesn’t appear to have kicked on or developed as far or as quickly as people expected given the faith put in him so early on.

‘He does however seemed to have become more consistent in his level of performance and was obviously a good member of our reserves who have won the South title 3 years on the trot, whilst others shone for the reserves he was solid and steady, and did the dirty work without being too spectacular as he did it.

‘His loan spell at Boro was generally considered a success and most fans were actually surprised to see him return as most of us thought it was a trial loan with a view to a permanent deal.

‘For us he was generally used as more of a holding midfielder, but from memory at least, he didn’t look out of place when surging forward for Boro.

‘The highlight of his Villa career is probably the cross he put on Chris Sutton’s head all those years ago that gave us a 1-0 victory over Everton, but at 6.2 his greatest asset is getting in and amongst play in midfield, breaking attacks up and protecting the back four for me…certainly borne out by the number of yellow cards he’s picked up when compared to the number of games played.

‘With respect to him, given his age now it’s unlikely he’s going to make an impact in the Premiership but he could well become a very useful and dependable Championship level player.

‘Whether he had the taste too early and relaxed thinking he had made it, or whether it’s just the case that he’s going to be a late developer and needs to drop a few divisions, and start playing week in week out before he reaches the potential people saw when he was 16, I don’t know.

‘But as said if he doesn’t, he could still have a very good career being Mr Solid in midfield being unspectacular, doing the dirty work and only getting noticed for the mistakes he makes.

‘I would be surprised if he doesn’t have a useful impact for you once he’s settled in, and come the end of the season I’d expect most of your faithful will be hoping he stays.

‘He has had us ‘stroking our beards’ at points when he was selected and whilst not quite setting the world alight with his performances in the first team, I imagine most Villans will wish him well and wish him the best of luck as he did put the effort in on the pitch, and there’s not really a bad word that could be said about him – the problem he has at Villa is simply we already have better options who are younger than he is.’

Vital Wednesday would like to thank Mike for giving us the lowdown on our new arrival – hopefully he can please Owls fans and Villa fans by helping Wednesday knock Birmingham City out of the next round of the FA Cup!

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