Noel Whelan has tipped Matty Cash to replace Ahmed Elmohamady in the Aston Villa starting XI against Sheffield United.

The former Leeds United and Coventry City striker, speaking exclusively to Football Insider assistant editor Russell Edge, believes the 23-year-old will head straight into Dean Smith’s side for the club’s first Premier League game of the season.

The Villans kicked off the 2020/21 campaign with a League Cup win over Burton Albion on Tuesday, with veteran Elmohamady named at right-back.

The 33-year-old played the full 90 minutes as Villa ran out 3-1 winners away from home.

However, Whelan believes the Egypt international is set to be replaced by the new arrival when Smith and his men play host to Sheffield United on Monday night.

Whelan told Football Insider: “I think they’ve realised that last year, defensively, they were a bit shaky, and that’s where they needed to worked on.

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“John Terry’s done a fantastic job with them, you could see that when they came back from lockdown last season they’d been working on it, they were a lot harder to beat, they weren’t as open, a lot more disciplined and organised. That will have pleased John Terry and Dean Smith no end.

“I think Matty Cash will go straight in, I think he’s a player they needed – they’ve chopped and changed between Elmohamady and Guilbert, so I think he’ll go straight in.

“I don’t think they’ll waste any time putting Matty Cash in there because he’s an excellent player, one who’s been wanted by many clubs and he’ll be a great addition.” 

As revealed by Football Insider, Cash arrived at Villa Park for an initial £12million which could rise to £16million with add-ons.

He has 129 Championship games of experience under his belt but is yet to play in the Premier League.

In other Aston Villa news, Alan Hutton claims a senior star will be baffled by new signing.