Dean Smith must ditch Aston Villa defender Ahmed Elmohamady for a more dynamic right-back, according to Noel Whelan.
Speaking exclusively to Football Insider, the former Leeds United and Coventry City striker is convinced the Midlands giants need more effective competition for summer arrival Frederic Guilbert.
Elmohamady, 31, started Villa’s opening two league matches upon their top-flight return before he was benched in favour of Guilbert, who was in the XI against Everton and Crystal Palace.
Villa lost both matches in which Elmohamady started – against Tottenham on the opening day and then at home to Bournemouth – and the change at right-back has been followed by a win versus Everton and then a defeat to Crystal Palace.
“Guilbert needs to be given an extended run in the team as Elmohamady is coming to the end of his career,” Whelan told Football Insider. “You need energy and dynamism need from the full-back, and that’s not his game.
“Elmohamady is fine for the Championship, and has good experience, but the Premier League is a totally different level. His time is up, really.
“I think Villa will be looking at bringing in a more dynamic right-back, either in January or next summer.”
Guilbert joined the club in a deal worth around £5million in January before spending the second half of last season on loan at Caen as they were relegated from Ligue 1.
Elmohamady, who turns 32 next week, has two years remaining on his Villa contract.
In other Aston Villa news, Football Insider can reveal that the club are in talks over agreeing a deal with a promising attacker.