Dean Smith must axe Aston Villa defender Ahmed Elmohamady for Friday’s Premier League clash against Everton, according to Noel Whelan.
Speaking exclusively to Football Insider, the former Leeds United and Coventry City striker explained why the Midlands giants need a switch at right-back.
Elmohamady has started Villa’s opening two league matches upon their top-flight return despite the club 12 new signings during the summer window.
Smith has kept faith with last season’s full-backs Elmohamady and Neil Taylor, with Matt Targett on the bench and fully fit right-back Frederic Guilbert in the stands.
The Midlands giants lost both matches – against Tottenham on the opening day and then at home to Bournemouth on Saturday – and Whelan claimed a change is needed at right-back.
“Elmohamady is ageing and at the back end of his career,” Whelan told Football Insider. “He’s got to go out of the team as he’s failing to provide the dynamism and energy you need from the modern full-back.
“Elmohamady is fine for the Championship but I’m surprised he is still in the side. Given the money they spent in the summer, you would think Villa would have a better option at right-back.”
Guilbert joined the club in a deal worth around £5million in January before spending the second half of the season on loan at Caen as they were relegated from Ligue 1.
He arrived at Villa Park in early July and made a big impression in the club’s pre-season fixtures as Elmohamady was given extended leave after his involvement in the Africa Cup of Nations with Egypt.
But Elmohamady has since returned to claim his spot in the starting XI.
In other Aston Villa news, Football Insider can reveal that the club are in talks over agreeing a deal with a promising attacker.