With Mile Jedinak and Glenn Whelan both 34-years-old, Aston Villa boss Dean Smith will soon have to consider sourcing replacements for the veteran defensive-midfield pair.
The Villans already have plenty of work to do in the upcoming January transfer window, with defensive reinforcements desperately needed. However, if the midlands outfit are planning to make a bid for the play-offs, they would also be wise to add extra solidity to the middle of the park.
A younger, mobile defensive-midfielder would be a smart acquisition in the upcoming window.
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Smith ought to consider swooping for Newcastle United’s out-of-favour Isaac Hayden to fill this gap in his squad at Villa Park.
Hayden has only been a bit-part player under Rafa Benitez at St James’ Park this season, with the 23-year-old only having made four Premier League appearances so far – amounting to a total of just 126 minutes of top flight game time.
At this stage in his career, the Arsenal academy graduate must get back to playing regularly as soon as possible. With the likes of Ki Sung-yeung and Mohamed Diame ahead of him in the Magpies pecking order though, it looks as though Hayden may have to seek pastures new in order to get his career back on track.
Having dominated the midfield in Newcastle’s season in the Championship, Hayden would be wise to return to the second tier and try to rediscover his best form at that level. Aston Villa would be equally wise to give him this opportunity.