Alan Hutton tips "unbelievable" Aston Villa defender James Chester to leave this summer


Alan Hutton has backed Aston Villa defender James Chester to move on a free transfer this summer, per Football Insider.

The centre-back has not played for the Midlands club in the Premier League this season and moved to Stoke City on loan in the January transfer window.

At the Britannia Stadium, he has played seven times in the Championship, and Hutton believes he is simply too good to stay as back-up at Dean Smith’s side.

His contract expires at the end of the season and the ex-Scotland international, who played for Villa between 2011 and 2019, has tipped him to find another club in the summer transfer window.

He said: “You would presume the rest of his career is going to lie somewhere other than Villa, even though he’s been a great servant, he was captain for years and he’s an unbelievable guy also.

“I think he’s too good for backup. He’s obviously had his problems throughout the season with his knees so it’s been difficult for him.

“To see him actually back finally playing after all that is brilliant, especially for himself. He won’t want to come back and just sit there after that feeling of playing again, he’ll want to play as many games as possible. It looks like it will be away from Villa.”

GIVEMESPORT’S Harry Sherlock says…

Chester has been a casualty of Villa’s ascent to the Premier League.

His only appearances for the club this season have come in the FA Cup and the EFL Cup, with Smith preferring the likes of Tyrone Mings and Bjorn Engels.

Chester, though, is an excellent Championship-quality defender and Hutton is probably right that he will find himself a move and be able to start afresh.

It may come back to bite Villa, though, particularly if they drop through the trap door and fall back into the Championship; should they do so, they may well look to convince Chester to stay around.

It may already be too late, however.

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