Date: 9th June 2009 at 5:03pm
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Craig Gardner is more than happy to fill Gareth Barry’s boots should Martin O’Neill give him the chance, but he’s also not ruling out a loan move this season either.

Having been frozen out for much of last season Gardner is seriously looking at his short term future with a number of clubs interested in taking him on loan if rumours are to be believed.

Speaking to the Birmingham Mail Craig explained that he was more than happy at Villa, and had no intentions of leaving the club in a permanent capacity, but admitted that he would see what happened.

After the recent 7-0 demolition of Azerbaijan for the England U21’s, featuring both a sterling performance from the 22 year old and a goal, he finds his stock high again and said:

‘I love playing football and I love playing in midfield so hopefully the manager has seen this game and it’s reminded him what I’m about.

‘It’s nice to hear that some of the fans think I might be able to step into Gareth’s shoes and hopefully it happens.’

The question is most expect O’Neill to bring in a replacement for Barry, which would add to the numbers again of a very competative midfield (well in numbers anyway) of Reo-Coker, Gardner, Petrov, Sidwell, Milner, Young, Salifou and potentially this season the proper introduction of the likes of Albrighton and Bannan.

So with clubs like Wigan and yes, amazingly, Blues being linked with a loan move, it may be better all round for Craig to get out and get a few months of regular first team action as it serves nobodies benefit if he spends another season on the bench or at right back.


9 Replies to “Craig Set To Decide Future”

  • I think Gardner will be a star for England U-21 this summer in the Euro 2009. He is fully fit and ready to prove himself to MON. I think he has a big future ahead of himself at villa. No need to go out on loan, Osbourne needs to go and Salifou, we can’t afford to lose somoene as good as Gardner too. he has real potential to be really great!

  • good tough uncompromisng player, I like Gardner. Would be interesting to see him in a settled central midfield role,.

  • have we released any players yet – is this to come or are we just hanging onto everyone? If we are to release i would expect to see Salifou and Osbourne go. In which case numbers are tight. Gardner sometimes looks a bit clumsy with lead feet and gets caught up in needless tackles. However he could come good and yes should be kept for the future. Is anyone seriously suggesting he should be a first team, first choice player?

  • Watch this space – for Craig Gardner read Gary Cahill. We will sell him, get a cheap alternative (Like Knight) and in two years we will be kicking ourselves as he is in England squad and linked with a £20m move to Arsenal!!

  • He wont get in the england squad because he is a just a squad player at the minute. send him out on loan and see how he does! only to a premier league club maybe wolves?

  • i really like gardener. unfortunatley i dont think it will please too many fans if we replace barry with him. i think most want to see a big name signing come in. i would be happy to see him go out on loan to a premier league side for the season and see what he can do playing against the best competiton. preferably not the blues though. dont really see the point of sending him out on loan to a lower league team.

  • I like Craig. I think he’s a more than decent footballer, who to date has been given a tough time of it with regards to him securing a first team starting place. All too often played out of position, never allowed an extended run. He has the attitude, the ability and the capability. Somewhat off-topic, I wish to add that his younger brother Gary is a useful prospect too, arguably better than Craig.

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