EXCLUSIVE

Aston Villa have made a blunder letting Alan Hutton leave for nothing this summer, according to Darren Bent.

The former Villa and England ace, speaking exclusively to Football Insider, says that the Scottish international was a valuable player in the dressing room with his experience and his years of service could have proven useful on their return to the Premier League.

The Villans confirmed at the start of June that the full-back would be one of eight senior players leaving the clubs, with Tommy Elphick, Mile Jedinak and Glenn Whelan among those who played their part in securing promotion via the play-offs.

Bent insists that letting the 34-year-old Glaswegian could prove to be a mistake for manager Dean Smith, insisting that he has something to offer even if he is not seeing regular action out on the football pitch.

Bent told Football Insider: “I would have loved them to keep Alan Hutton because he was there when I was there, he was a real fans’ favourite, knew the club inside and out, die-hard, loved it there and I would have loved to see them keep him there but it was obviously not meant to be.

“You can understand why but you also can’t. I get the youth but you need experience and Alan Hutton has been there, done that. He’s played in the Premier League for a lot of years, played against big clubs, played for big clubs.

“I just think even if he’s not going to start you need these type of players in the dressing room. He’s not a bad egg, he’s professional, does everything right. You need a couple of them in the building.”

Hutton, who has 50 caps for Scotland, made 202 appearances across all competitions in an eight-year stint at Villa Park, with loan spells at Nottingham Forest, Mallorca and Bolton Wanderers along the way.

Last season saw him make feature 33 times and score twice, including a sensational solo effort against rivals Birmingham City which helped cement his nickname as the ‘Scottish Cafu’.

In other Aston Villa news, it can be REVEALED that a Villa forward is in advanced talks over joining a new club for next season.