Since Aston Villa earned promotion to the Premier League in 2019, there has been a real revolution among the playing staff, with a number of marquee signings coming in through the door.
Dean Smith has overseen one of the club’s brightest periods in a long time, and this summer saw them take yet another step forward by landing high-profile names like Leon Bailey and Emi Buendia.
However, one man who has made arguably one of the biggest impressions at Villa Park since his arrival is Matty Cash.
Villa signed him from Championship side Nottingham Forest last September for a fee in the region of £16m on a five-year contract, and Smith was quick to rave about his latest addition at the time.
He said: “We are delighted to welcome Matty to Villa and believe we have secured one of England’s brightest young prospects. He has an excellent playing record for a young player and we believe he will settle in easily and continue his rapid development into a top full-back.”
Since his arrival, Cash has been an absolute stalwart at right-back, establishing himself as Villa’s undisputed first-choice in that position and being one of Smith’s most reliable and consistent performers.
Speaking last season, former Premier League striker Kevin Phillips dubbed him “sensational“, while adding: “Cash has come in and he has been flawless. He has taken to the club like a duck to water. You have to give credit to the player and the recruitment department. They have obviously done their homework. He has been one of their shining lights this season.”
Just last weekend against Everton, Cash finally got his first goal for the club, netting a thunderous strike off his weaker left foot in the 3-0 victory the Toffees at Villa Park.
The fact that he’s now being touted with an international call-up with Poland ahead of next year’s World Cup is a real statement on just how high his stock has risen, and full credit must be given to both him and Smith.
The £65k-per-week flier has been an incredible signing for Villa.