By Will Butcher

Aston Villa are one of four Championship clubs who have been keeping tabs on Plymouth prodigy Ben Purrington, according to a report.

The Daily Mail have claimed that the 20-year-old was tracked by Premier League duo Stoke and Crystal Palace last year, and could leave Home Park after providing a number of important assists this season.

Purrington has become a mainstay in the team following three appearances from the bench at the start of the campaign.

That led to a run of 12 straight starts for the youngster, contributing three assists, although he has missed the last two games with injury.

Purrington won the League Two Player of the Month award in October and has played an integral part in the Pilgrims’ promotion hunt as they sit second and level on points with league leaders Carlisle.

According to the Daily Mail, Purrington has been tracked by Aston Villa, Fulham, Blackburn and Sheffield Wednesday.

Purrington’s contract is set to expire in the summer and, despite his young age, the defender already has plenty of Football League experience with 58 league and cup appearances to his name.

Football Insider verdict:

A move to Villa Park for Purrington would please the Villa fans. With rumours continuing to suggest that Jordan Amavi could be about to leave and doubts over the performances of former Liverpool defender Aly Cissokho, the addition of Purrington could solve the relegated Premier League’s side left-back area. Steve Bruce would also be bringing in one of the hottest properties in the lower leagues, as Purrington continues to show maturity beyond his years on the left side of the Pilgrims defence. They will have to move quickly though, as Villa’s Championship rivals continue to monitor him, with scouts expected to reappear as soon as he returns to full fitness.

In other Aston Villa transfer news, this Premier League goalkeeper could be on his way to the Midlands.