The bristling optimism which greeted Ross McCormack’s signing in summer 2016 quickly disappeared as it became apparent Aston Villa landed themselves an enfant terrible.
A then-club record fee of £12m was spent on a proven goalscorer but it quickly went downhill with Steve Bruce loaning the striker out, raising questions about his attitude. Among the excuses given for missing training was not being able to operate the electronic gates to his property.
Having tried to send him back to Fulham – the move fell through when the Cottagers squad told boss Slavisa Jokanovic that they didn’t want him back – McCormack eventually found a new home at Nottingham Forest.
That too proved a disaster with the Scot playing just seven games at the City Ground. He missed the remainder of the season for ‘personal reasons’, making his final appearance in the East Midlands derby against Derby in March.
He returned to Villa this summer and the former European champions are thriving in his absence, sitting on the fringes of the promotion race.
With no chance of reconciliation with Steve Bruce, McCormack is, according to the Express and Star, in talks with Australian club, Melbourne City, about a move to the A-League.
For a once-feared hitman, it’s a bedraggled end to his spell in the West Midlands.