The story of Albert Adomah is a strange one, even by today’s standards in football. The last six months have been odd, to say the least, with the Ghanaian international seemingly going through the sort of highs and lows a player normally experiences over several seasons.
The 30-year-old has already had a remarkable career, building his reputation as he ascended the divisions with Barnet and Bristol City.
He’s cultivated the persona of a flying winger with a keen eye for goal and has worked incredibly hard to get from Harrow Borough to the pitches of the Championship.
He even racked up a couple of Premier League appearances and added 18 international caps to his career record, the last of which came in 2015.
In three of the last four seasons, he’s been involved in the playoff final, a feat he could repeat this season. His side Aston Villa are at 4/1 in the current sports betting markets.
He’s recently found a way back into the Villa side, but even more remarkable was the fact he found himself out of it in the first place. He scored 15 times for them last season as they narrowly missed out on promotion to the Premier League, earning him a Player of the Year award from the club and the adoration of fans.
What it did not earn him was a new contract, his rather prickly relationship with Steve Bruce resulting in him being frozen out at the start of this campaign. He went from being the hero of the hour to an outcast in a few short months.
It wasn’t an unusual position for Adomah. He’d been Roberto di Matteo’s marquee signing and that led to Steve Bruce looking to cast him aside in January 2017. Adomah proved his worth, but Bruce wasn’t convinced. He was touted out to other sides on loan, Sunderland were keen but Adomah wanted to stay and fight for his place.
12 months and 15 goals later, it all happened again.
This summer, Bruce sensationally gave Adomah the green light to leave Villa Park on deadline day, having signed Yannick Bolasie and Anwar El-Ghazi on loan. Another deal was set up, this time with his former side Middlesbrough. Adomah was thought to have travelled to the North East, still owning property in the area and hoping to secure an end to his Villa nightmare.
Yannick Bolasie - By Yannick34 - Own work (CC BY-SA 4.0)
Boro were open to a loan deal, but Adomah wanted the security of a full-time switch. In the end, neither got what they wanted and a forlorn player returned to Villa Park with no prospect of first-team football.
After nine games without a win, his tormentor Steve Bruce was sacked. Despite being pushed out, he featured regularly from the bench for Bruce, but new manager Dean Smith has different views.
He’s started both of the managers' opening games and was described as ‘tormenting’ Norwich full-back Max Aarons before suffering an injury in the defeat against Norwich.
From outcast to hero twice in successive seasons, it looks as though Albert Adomah has more lives than a cat at Aston Villa.