Alan Hutton believes his former teammate James Chester could have been a far more central figure at Aston Villa.

Speaking exclusively to Football Insider deputy editor Russell Edge, Hutton claimed the Wales defender should have been used far more often by Dean Smith and is pleased he has secured a transfer to Stoke City.

The former Villa captain joins the Potters on an initial one-year contract after a loan spell at the end of last season.

After being ruled out with a long-term injury in January 2019, Chester made only two further appearances for the club before joining Stoke.

Hutton and Chester played together at Villa Park and the former Scotland fullback felt his former teammate had more to offer.

Asked if he was disappointed Chester was not given more of a chance in the final years of his time at Villa, Hutton told Football Insider: “A little bit. I definitely think he could have improved them in certain areas, in certain ways, especially in some games.

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“Normally when you go out on loan it’s to play games and he’s come back where the boys are already settled and the manager probably knows his strongest team so it’s difficult to break back in.

“Especially if you’re not in the future plans, there’s no point bringing someone back in if they’re not going to be there long term. He’ll understand, he’ll know he was there as cover but it’s good to see him finally get his move and permanent move.” 

After joining Stoke, Chester made 16 appearances for the Championship club as they finished 15th.

Over a four-year spell the Welsh international made 146 appearances for Stoke, scoring 12 goals.

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