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Although Aston Villa haven’t confirmed it officially, it appears that the Championship side have chosen not to offer Alan Hutton a new deal this year. The full-back’s current contract expires in June and it seems that he will leave the club, although it’s rather harsh to assume that he wants to stay.
The former Rangers and Tottenham man has played an integral role for Villa this season, as his side climbed up the Championship table to sit third at present, with Hutton making 22 league appearances during that run. It appears that the club’s hierarchy and manager Steve Bruce have differing views on Hutton, bearing in mind that the latter is a big fan of the full-back and has always praised his fitness levels among other things.
Regardless of Bruce’s admiration for Hutton, it seems that the club is currently unwilling to extend his stay at Villa Park beyond this summer, despite him having done a decent job at left-back for most of this season. The fact that Villa have plenty of options at right-back has certainly played a big part in this decision.
As things stand, Steve Bruce has appeared to favour old ally Ahmed Elmohamady (who he managed at both Sunderland and Hull City) at right-back, although he has other options too. Even without throwing Hutton into the mix, the club have big expectations of young full-backs James Bree and Mitch Clark.
Villa are taking a few risks though, especially given that they do not know which league they will be playing in next season. The Villains have already allowed Ritchie De Laet to go out to Royal Antwerp on loan, before the move is made permanent in the summer.
Should Villa fail to gain promotion to the Premier League and the money that comes with it, they may live to regret allowing Hutton to leave. The Scottish full-back was signed from Tottenham in 2011 but fell out of favour at Villa under Paul Lambert before fighting his way back into the fold.
During the dismal tenure of Lambert, Hutton was loaned out to Nottingham Forest, Bolton Wanderers and Real Mallorca and actually managed to go two full years without playing for Villa.
However, he has managed 156 appearances for Villa and has been a good servant for the club, something that should be remembered by the board but seems bound to join John Terry, Gabby Agbonlahor, Chris Samba and Mark Bunn as a free agent in the summer.