COMMENT by Amir Mir
Football Insider debates which three Aston Villa players should be definite starters for the club’s promotion push next season.
After a chaotic first season for Villa in the Championship, James Chester has been one of the very few success stories for the club. The Wales international provides calmness to the club’s defensive line and it is no surprise that he has played every minute since his arrival from West Brom in the summer. Steve Bruce will first and foremost need a solid base for promotion next season and Chester can be that leading figure at the back.
Just like Chester, the Australian is another leading figure, but more of a man mountain than his teammate. Even at the age of, 32, he still provides defensive solidity in the middle of the park. For a good part of January and February, Jedinak was in the treatment room and during his absence his side suffered five defeats on the bounce. Upon his return, they won three games in a row and secured clean sheets during those games. This is a clear indication as to how important Jedinak is to the team and will be next season.
A January signing from Barnsley, the playmaker is beginning to look like the real deal and a midfielder Villa have craved for a long time. During his time with the Tykes, Conor Hourihane was the best creative player in the league, providing the most assists and chipping in with some useful goals. Despite a slow start in the Midlands, he is beginning to pick up and it seems he can be the goalscoring midfielder Villa have needed for a long time. Therefore, next season, he will be crucial to the creative and attacking aspect of Bruce’s promotion plans.
In other Aston Villa news, supporters have delivered their verdict on Steve Bruce after a 12th defeat of the season.