There are many uncertainties of what the Aston Villa squad will look like come the kickoff of the 2018/2019 season. After Steve Bruce’s interview on Sky Sports went viral among AVFC supporters, Villa fans are awaiting damning news on which players will be shipped out to fall in line with Financial Fair Play. While Villa most likely won’t see many players coming into the club, there are definitely questions to be had as to who is playing where on the pitch going forward.
Alan Hutton has decided to stay at Villa after a contract that expired at the end of last season. Hutton is a fan favourite for a large majority of the Aston Villa fanbase. But, should Alan Hutton automatically become a starter every week this coming campaign?
Can Alan Hutton Have Another Impressive Season?
Neil Taylor remains the only natural left-back currently under the employ of the Aston Villa first-team, but let us not forget the great job that Hutton did on the left side of the defensive line last season when called upon. No one could predict the seamless and passionate transition that Hutton made positionally and it was well received by even the most down-trodden Villa supporters.
Hutton is in fact a natural right back, but he’s not the only one at Villa at the moment. Ahmed Elmohamady has played up and down the right side of the pitch since joining Aston Villa and we are all waiting to see when youngster James Bree will get to prove himself to the diehard Villa supporters.
Bree has been a Villa player since transferring over from Barnsley in January 2017. The 20-year old has mightily impressed while playing for the Aston Villa u23 squad. Bree possesses speed and acute passing skills that are a real treat to watch when he is at the top of his game on the day. It may still be a bit too early to claim that the Wakefield-born defender will definitely be Villa’s starting right-back this season, but it would not be a surprise at all if Hutton takes over Neil Taylor’s spot at left-back.
Neil Taylor is a bit of a coin-flip in terms of his time at Aston Villa to the present date. While Taylor has shown spurts of being a defender who can get up and down the pitch, there has been no identifiable proof that he can sustain that pattern of consistency. A great number of Villa fans believe Taylor hasn’t gotten over his shock tackle on Irelands’ Seamus Coleman back in March 2017 in a World Cup qualifying match, which resulted in a broken tibia and fibula for Coleman. Taylor would receive a two-match ban in international play by FIFA after the tackle. Accidents happen all of the time in the arena of sports and while that tackle may have not been an intentional action to injure Coleman, it seems that Taylor’s game has been very different since that situation occurred.
All things considered, this is a big season ahead for Alan Hutton. Regardless if Villa gaffer Steve Bruce goes with youth over experience at the right-back position or to give Neil Taylor another chance at solidifying a starting place, Alan Hutton will have to slot in somewhere when called upon. It wouldn’t be surprising to see Hutton as the starting left-back with either Elmohamady or Bree taking over at right-back. Time will tell with all of the financial problems at Villa, but it would be a stretch to see any of the defenders in place sold off before the end of the transfer window, minus James Chester.
And I really, really, really hope we keep James Chester.