By Alan Hutton

7th Jan, 2020 | 6:30pm

Exclusive: Hutton tearing hair out over 'Struggling' Villa star - 'We don't see him for weeks'

Alan Hutton admits that Aston Villa winger Jota has had him tearing his hair out with his inconsistent performances this season.

The former Villa and Scotland defender, speaking exclusively to Football Insider assistant editor Russell Edge, says that the fans have seen the Spaniard’s quality in flashes but that he has struggled with the step up to the Premier League.

Jota reunited with former manager Dean Smith at Villa Park this summer, the 28-year-old joining from Championship outfit and the Villans’ city rivals Birmingham City.

With just eight top-flight appearances under his belt since moving to the Villans, Hutton says the former Brentford man has been very frustrating to watch.

“This is the thing, it’s such a big step up from the Championship to the Premier League, you’re playing against defenders that are just as fast, just as strong, just as intelligent,” Hutton told Football Insider.

“No disrespect to the Championship, you don’t come up against that every week so you have to be on top of your game. We’ve seen it in flashes from him, a lot like El Ghazi and Trezeguet, but you have to be doing it constantly.

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“There’s no point in having a five, ten-minute spell in a game and then we don’t see him for weeks. That’s where he’s struggling.” 

Jota has a total of 12 games to his name for Villa this term, Smith making use of him in the cup competitions rather than as a regular in the Premier League.

He has a total of 144 Championship appearances under his belt, with 31 goals and 22 assists.

In other Aston Villa news, Paul Robinson has backed a fringe player to be the answer after a “huge blow” at Villa Park.