It’s fair to say that Aston Villa struck absolute gold when they snapped up Matt Targett from fellow Premier League side Southampton a couple of years ago.
Signed for around £11m from the Saints back in the summer of 2019, Dean Smith made it clear just how delighted he was with his new signing after confirmation of a deal.
The Villa manager said: “We’re very pleased to have Matt join us. He’s a player we have been looking at for a considerable amount of time. He fits our criteria of being a young player with experience of playing in the Premier League and having the potential to develop further. He will help make us a stronger defensive unit and we are all looking forward to working with him.”
Since his arrival, Targett has been a virtual ever-present, playing the full 90 minutes in all but of one Villa’s Premier League games this season.
The £35,000-a-week earner has been a bit of an unsung hero for Villa, something echoed Alan Hutton as 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.”
Such has been his form this season in the Premier League that Targett’s market value has risen considerably, with CIES now rating him at around the £17m mark, more than a 50% rise from when he joined.
The 25-year-old has even seen his name enter into the conversation for an England call-up, with The Mirror claiming earlier this month that Three Lions boss Gareth Southgate was considering bringing him into the fold.
Targett has been a reliable performer for Villa as Hutton says, and there’s no questioning that then-Villa sporting director Suso delivered an absolute masterclass with his signature.