Aston Villa manager Dean Smith

Alan Hutton has tipped Aston Villa winger Indiana Vassilev to head out on loan this summer after signing a new contract at Villa Park. 

The former Villa full-back, speaking exclusively to Football Insider assistant editor Russell Edge, believes the 19-year-old would be best playing regular first-team football after emerging through the club’s youth ranks this year.

Villa confirmed on Monday that the USA youth international has committed to a new contract which will keep him tied down until 2022.

The versatile attacker has made four appearances for Dean Smith’s senior side this season, all of which have come from the substitutes’ bench.

Hutton believes that leaving the club on loan in search of regular action would be the best course of action for the youngster, suggesting he will struggle to feature if Villa remain in the Premier League next season.

Asked by Football Insider if he thought Vassilev could head out on loan this summer, Hutton said: “Possibly, that could be the route. He’s only 19 so he’s still really young. 

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“We’re talking about 19-year-olds as if they’re 25, 26, it’s crazy! There might be two options. We’ll have to wait and see where Villa end up. If, touch wood, they’re still in the Premier League I can’t see him being a regular starter.

“It’s whether he wants to take a year to go to a club where he’s going to play week in, week out and really prove to Dean Smith that he’s ready for the first team, I think that would be the best option.

“Rather than sitting on the bench or in the stands, getting the odd minute here or there, I don’t really think you prove yourself as much as if you go away to say the Championship and really hit the ground running there.

“I think that’s your best opportunity – plus other people can see you play, it’s not just Villa, you’re out there and everyone can see what you’re capable of. I think that would be a good option for him.” 

Vassilev has proven his versatility this season after playing as both a left-sided winger as well as a centre-forward.

His break in the first team came as a result of Jonathan Kodjia’s January exit and Wesley’s serious injury layoff.

In other Aston Villa news, a Villa attacker has been tipped to join a Midlands rival this summer.