Aston Villa opinion: Conor Hourihane signs new deal – Good move?
According to a report in the Sun, Premier League newcomers Aston Villa have rewarded Conor Hourihane with a new contract ahead of the start of the new season.
Boss Dean Smith, who has been busy in getting all the incoming transfers so far this summer, has been keen to tie Hourihane to a new deal as they Villa prepare for life in the Premier League after three years. (h/t Sun)
The 28-year-old midfielder, especially in the second half of last season, played a key role in the Villans’ resurgence in their promotion push and they eventually ended up winning the playoff final.
The upcoming season will be his first in the top-flight after spending all of his years playing football in the lower leagues. He joined Aston Villa back in the January of 2017 and has made steady progress since.
Here’s why the club has made the right decision to offer him a new contract:
Hourihane’s presence in midfield has been key
Conor Hourihane is a versatile midfield player who can play in virtually all of the positions across the central areas of the field. His preferred role is to sit in front of the back four and protect it, but he is good at operating in an advanced midfield role too.
The 28-year-old played in all of those positions last season and produced consistent displays for Aston Villa. He scored 8 goals and provided 12 assists in 46 appearances, including the playoff games.
In terms of his attributes, Hourihane is a dynamic player who likes to make the ball talk. He is good at creating chances even from deeper positions, is aware about what spaces to defend without possession and always works hard for the team.
Hence, looking at it from the outset, this was virtually a no-brainer for Villa and Dean Smith to agree to offer the Irishman a new deal ahead of the start of the Premier League season.
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Aston Villa have done the right thing by extending Conor Hourihane’s stay. They should reap positive rewards for it in the coming months/years as they gear up big for a crucial Premier League season after quite a number of years.