They may not have come away with anything on Friday night, but Aston Villa’s stock continues to rise.
Dean Smith’s side have been a revelation in the Premier League this season, and barring a hugely controversial VAR call, would surely have left Old Trafford with at least a point in their clash against Manchester United.
And one man who is proving why he’s arguably Smith’s unsung hero, is Matty Cash.
The man signed from Nottingham Forest in the summer has given Villa an extra dimension down the right-hand side, with his energy and dynamism wreaking havoc.
Against United, he produced yet another stand-out display.
As per Sofascore, he won 78% of his total duels on the night, and made three tackles and three clearances too.
But it wasn’t just his defensive work that was impressive. His forays going forward were a vital attacking weapon for Villa, both from dead-ball situations and when crossing from deep.
He provided three key passes (only Jack Grealish had more with four), sent in three accurate crosses (a joint team-high), and also had two shots on goal too.
His attacking intent led to The Athletic journalist Laurie Whitwell to say that he was “dangerous”, whilst CBS Sports’ Luis Miguel Echegaray said that both he and fellow summer signing, Emiliano Martinez, “continues to shine”.
Right-back isn’t the most glamorous position on the pitch. But the quality Cash has brought to the table both offensively and defensively has been second-to-none for Villa.
He’s already become Mr Reliable for Smith, and at just 23, has got all the tools in his locker to be one of the absolute best full-backs in the Premier League.