Whilst the likes of Jack Grealish and Ollie Watkins may be the Aston Villa players to take most of the headlines this season, spare a mention for Matt Targett.
The left-back has continued to be a reliable performer for Dean Smith’s in the Premier League, and produced an impressive display against Manchester City in mid-week, keeping England star Raheem Sterling in check.
But after coming up with just over 15 minutes to go at the Etihad, Targett appears to be a serious doubt for Villa’s next top-flight clash.
Speaking in his pre-match press conference ahead of the game against Newcastle on Saturday night, Smith said: “It was a very good performance up until the 74th minute when he decided to sit down because he was tired out and we knew there was a possibility of that happening to one or two of the players who had suffered (with the virus).”
The £35k-a-week earning ace is a bit of an unsung hero for Villa, something Alan Hutton echoed, when he said: “I think he just quietly goes about his business and you’re right, because of the other players within that squad, he probably doesn’t get the praise that he’s due this season.
“He’s definitely went under the radar but I think the proper football fans and people will see exactly what he does for the team, much like Matty Cash on the opposite side.”
With Neil Taylor the only other real left-back option to Smith, he will be desperately hoping that Targett can pass any late fitness checks and makes it for the Newcastle game.
Taylor has made just four appearances in total this campaign, with only 15 minutes of Premier League football under his belt. Targett has nailed that left-back role down and has been part of a settled back-line for Villa for most of the season.
If he’s missing versus Newcastle, Smith will be worried.