Birmingham news Guilbert can solve one of Smith's biggest problems at Villa PremierLeague-News.Com
PremierLeague-News.Com - Aston Villa have a call to make on the long-term future of Frederic Guilbert upon his return from his loan spell this summer
PremierLeague-News.Com - Breaking Sport Transfer News ! Dean Smith and Johan Lange have a quite simple decision to make at Aston Villa once the summer transfer window opens. The contracts of Ahmed Elmohamady and Neil Taylor are due to expire, and at the time of writing both are expected to take their leave once the season ends. Both players can leave in the knowledge that they’ve contributed to Villa’s ascent back into the Premier League and have helped to keep them there, too, but at their respective ages of 33 and 32 Villa are expected to thank Elmohamady and Taylor and look to take this opportunity to freshen up the full-back department. Matty Cash and Matt Targett are, when fit and available, the undisputed first-choice picks on each side of the defence and they make up an all-English back-line, but fresh competition will need to be injected into those positions in this summer to ensure they are kept on their toes and kept up to their work. Video Loading Video Unavailable Click to play Tap to play The video will auto-play soon8Cancel Play now Do Villa already have an obvious player on their books that should be given another opportunity to prove his worth, though? There weren’t too many Villa supporters who were of the opinion that Frederic Guilbert did an awful lot wrong last term; the Frenchman, who was signed while the club were still a Championship outfit, played 29 matches - right up to and including the dramatic season finale at West Ham United - and scored a couple of goals in the cup competitions. While Villa survived by the skin of their teeth, there was an understanding and acceptance that Villa - intent on building on their retained top flight status - were going to look to strengthen each position. They did so; they brought in a new keeper, new full-backs, a new first-choice centre forward, a new midfielder and a new winger. Cash’s arrival left Guilbert kicking his heels, and the former Nottingham Forest man’s hitting the ground running early doors meant that there was little chance to really set down a marker and leave Smith with a real headache. Read More Related Articles Tammy Abraham to Aston Villa transfer: Chelsea's £40m stance & Dean Smith's comments Read More Related Articles Four players have shown Aston Villa's transfer approach was misguided The opportunity to leave the club in the January transfer window came and, with Elmohamady and the exciting young Kaine Kesler around to back up Cash, Smith and Villa sanctioned Guilbert’s return to France for a loan spell with Strasbourg. With all eyes on the here and now at Villa Park, it’ll have been easy to forget about Guilbert and how he is faring back home; out of sight, out of mind. Yet the truth is that he is one of the best performing defenders in France since the turn of the year. Guilbert has made ten appearances, playing 90 minutes in all of them, and has scored one goal - a stoppage time winner against Monaco - provided three assists and has helped to contribute a couple of clean sheets too.
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Paris Saint-Germain forward Kylian Mbappe (R) fights for the ball against Strasbourg's French defender Frederic Guilbert, on loan from Aston Villa
(Image: AFP via Getty Images)
“I think my first season was pretty good,” Guilbert said of his debut campaign, while detailing how a loan move to FC Nantes fell through at the start of this season. “It’s not for everyone to play so many games in their first year. The club signed Matty Cash for £16m in the transfer window. “That’s a hell of a lot of money and he’s a good player. It’s the manager’s choice – you have to accept it and fight to play. If it doesn’t work and, if I have to leave, then I will leave. “Yes I like it here [Strasbourg]. I’m a Villan and proud of it, now the truth of today is not tomorrow’s. Only the future will tell us.” Guilbert, who has two years remaining on his Villa deal, has been able to fill in on both sides of the defence while at Villa and earlier in his career. Buoyed by a fruitful loan spell where regular football has been on offer, he could yet return to Bodymoor Heath this summer and present himself as a viable option to Smith who will be looking to solve the forthcoming claret and blue full-back jigsaw.
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