According to Birmingham Mail, Aston Villa are ‘unlikely’ to recall Tommy Elphick from his loan spell at Hull City, despite Dean Smith’s need for a centre-back. With only James Chester and Axel Tuanzebe as Villa’s natural options at the heart of the backline, signing a third central defender has been on the agenda in January.
If Villa aren’t going to sanction funds to make a permanent signing, Smith could bring back Micah Richards from the cold, he could bring James Collins in on a free transfer or he could recall Elphick from his loan spell at Hull. However, Collins coming in on a temporary deal appears the most likely outcome.
Elphick was loaned out by former manager Steve Bruce back in August and has been in fine form during his stint at Hull. The 31-year-old has made 11 appearances in all competitions for the Tiger and is enjoying a turnaround in fortunes after a forgettable spell at Villa Park.
While the Midlands outfit may now consider other options to strengthen their defence, there’s no guarantee Elphick would be so open to returning either. The Englishman is getting regular playing time at the KCOM Stadium and may not have wanted to play backup to Chester and Tuanzebe.