Conor Hourihane never let Aston Villa down but the time is right for both parties to move on.

That is the view of former Villa striker Kevin Phillips, speaking exclusively to Football Insider after the 29-year-old joined Swansea City on loan until the end of the season.

This site first revealed last week the Championship high-fliers were lining up a move for the midfielder as they wanted a proven player to help their promotion charge.

Hourihane was a regular starter in the Premier League last season but has found his opportunities limited this term with the arrival of Ross Barkley and the emergence of Jacob Ramsey.

Villa are also in negotiations with Marseille for midfielder Morgan Sanson – a move which would see Hourihane fall down the pecking order further.

“Players move on and Hourihane has been very good for Villa,” Phillips told Football Insider.

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“You will not find one Villa fan who would say he has been a disappointment or a flop. He has never let the side down and he has chipped in with some important goals as well.

“Dean Smith, moving forward, does not see him as part of his plans. He will have sat down with him and explained that he would not get much game time.

“And Hourihane still has a lot to offer so Swansea have made a great signing. He is a player that can help them seal promotion.”

Smith revealed after the deal was completed he was not keen on letting Hourihane leave.

He said: “Conor’s been to see me a few times and intimated that he wants to play football games, which is one of the reasons why I love Conor so much.”

In other news, a top pundit has claimed Aston Villa are close to signing a player they can make big money on.