Matt Targett is one of the Premier League’s best left-backs and an “unsung hero” at Aston Villa.

That is according to ex-Premier League forward Noel Whelan, speaking exclusively to Football Insider after The Athletic revealed that the defender is engaged in contract negotiations with the club.

The 25-year-old signed for Villa in July 2019 with former club Southampton pocketing a reported £11million for his services.

Targett has started all 30 of Villa’s league matches this season, marshalling the left side of the third-meanest defence in the division.

Whelan insisted that Targett deserves a lucrative contract to match his impressive exploits in Villa colours.

“He’s been their unsung hero,” he told Football Insider correspondent Dylan Childs.

Subscribe to Football Insider TV now

“Like Stuart Dallas at Leeds, he’s consistent. He doesn’t get talked about enough for the job that he does. But he’s one that you can always rely on. You’d notice him if he wasn’t there.

“That’s why you’ve got to reward him with a new contract. Your flair players, Grealish and Watkins, get all the accolades, but let’s not forget about the important job that he does.

“He gets overshadowed but he’s one of the most consistent in the league.”

Targett is one of several Villa players to be offered a new deal in recent months as mega-rich owners Wes Edens and Nassef Sawiris flex their financial muscles.

Jack Grealish, Ezri Konsa, Tyrone Mings and John McGinn have all committed their long-term futures to the club in 2020-21.

In other news, Aston Villa set sights on signing two forwards this summer.