Three Alan Hutton replacements Aston Villa should consider
The full-back featured in 33 games in all competitions last season, helping Villa reach the play-off final but they lost to Fulham at Wembley. He has been one of the most consistent members of Villa’s first-team squad since former manager Steve Bruce took over in October 2016, even filling in at left-back when required.
But the veteran Scotsman has blown hot and cold this season as Villa have also struggled in the Championship. A run of poor results saw Steve Bruce getting axed and being replaced by former Brentford manager, Dean Smith.
Under Smith, Villa have shown signs of recovery and Hutton’s performances have also seen a marked improvement. However, Hutton will turn 34 soon and will be out of contract in the summer of 2019.
Truth be told, Hutton is past his prime and lacks the speed with which he used to bomb up and down the right flank in his heydays. That said, it would be ideal for Smith to consider potential replacements for the ageing Scotsman.
Here are three replacements Aston Villa should consider in January.
James Justin (Luton Town)
James Justin has been turning heads in the League One with his marauding displays as a full-back for Luton Town.
The 20-year-old is predominantly a right-back but he is versatile enough to fill in on the left and also play in the midfield. Justin is a pacy full-back who can go past defenders in one blink of an eye. He is a good crosser of the ball and can stretch the opposition with his direct running and energy.
Certainly, Justin possesses the qualities to be a top player in the future and Villa should consider snapping him up in January.
Reece James (Wigan on loan from Chelsea)
Reece James is currently starring for Championship outfit Wigan Athletic, on loan from Chelsea.
The 18-year-old is a product of the Chelsea academy and signed a four-year contract with the Blues before joining Wigan on a season-long loan.
James has impressed for the Latics, putting in eye-catching displays on the right. He has been a bundle of energy and a buccaneering presence to have in the squad. The teen offers a threat going forward whilst he is also defensively diligent.
At 18, James would be the perfect long-term replacement for Hutton.
Cristian Gamboa (Celtic)
Cristian Gamboa has not received enough opportunities at Celtic this season and Aston Villa should consider luring him away to Villa Park in January.
Gamboa is an attacking full-back with an eye for a pass and strong dribbling abilities. Whenever the Costa Rican has played for Celtic, he has contributed towards breaking down opposing defences with his speed, strength and overlapping runs.
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At 29, Gamboa still has a lot to offer and Villa should definitely take a punt on him.