By Kevin Phillips

29th Mar, 2020 | 4:31pm

Exclusive: Kevin Phillips claims forgotten Villa 27-year-old giving Smith 'Big dilemma'

Kevin Phillips insists if Scott Hogan keeps scoring and Aston Villa suffer relegation Dean Smith will have a “big dilemma” on his hands.

The former England international, speaking exclusively to Football Insider correspondent Dylan Childs, claimed a lack of options up top may force Dean Smith to re-introduce the loanee into his side.

The 27-year-old is currently on loan at rivals Birmingham City having failed to make an impact in the first half of the season whilst at Stoke.

Hogan has scored 10 goals in 26 appearances in all competitions this season but more impressively has scored seven in nine appearances since signing for the Blues in January.

Phillips believes if the Republic of Ireland international continues to score when the season is resumed Dean Smith will have a difficult decision to make.

“He is their player,” he told Football Insider.

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“A player that has had it tough in the last year. He has been out on loan and it has not worked but he has now found a club where he has hit the ground running.

“I have watched him live a few times and he is a goalscorer. He gets in good positions.

“Another big dilemma for Villa if they were to go down. I think he has seven goals for Birmingham already – if we restart and he adds another four or five and Villa go down, they may be able to afford to let him go. Wesley has taken time to settle and there are not many striking options. It will be an interesting one for Dean Smith.”

Hogan has struggled since arriving in a £12million deal from Brentford in 2017 – scoring 10 in 61 appearances for the Claret and Blues.

Villa are currently 19th in the Premier League, two points adrift of safety with a game in hand.

In other Aston Villa news, Alex Bruce has told Football Insider one man is to blame for poor transfer activity at Villa Park.