Date: 21st January 2019 at 6:40am
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James Bree was left out of the matchday squad in Aston Villa’s 2-2 draw with Hull City, with Alan Hutton instead being chosen to start at right-back and Ahmed Elmohamady being named on the bench. Hutton performed poorly on the day and Elmohamady wasn’t even trusted by Dean Smith to replace him which begs the question if this will be the pair’s final season at Villa Park.

Hutton was culpable for Villa conceding a goal in Saturday’s meeting. He failed to track his runner into the area and it led to Hull going 2-0 up. Such mistakes have been a common occurrence with Elmohamady too, so it’s hard to see Dean Smith renewing both their contracts to keep them at the club past next summer. The focus should be on James Bree and seeing if he can realise his potential for the Claret and Blues.

Another right-back will be needed over the summer, but Smith should target somebody considerable younger than Hutton (34) and Elmohamady (31). He needs somebody who is comfortable in possession, doesn’t frequently vacate their position and has creativity in the final third. The club should already be on the hunt for replacements. The money saved from paying Hutton & Elmohamady’s wages can go towards a new recruit.

Crippy Cooke’s previous article

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