Alan Hutton signed a new one-year contract at Aston Villa this summer, with The Daily Record reporting that the Scotsman took a huge paycut in order to seal the deal when Steve Bruce’s side were in dire financial trouble. Perhaps in celebration, he treated the Villa fans to his best display in his seven years at the club so far in their opening game of the Championship season against Hull.
The 33-year-old joined Villa from Tottenham for around £4m in the summer of 2011 and, after three short loan deals in his early years at Villa Park, he established himself as the club’s first choice right-back. Since making his debut for Scotland in 2007, the Glasgow-born defender has also racked up 50 caps for his country.
Goals, however, are not something one would immediately think of when speaking about Hutton. Before his fabulous solo run and finish on Monday at the KCOM Stadium, the veteran full-back had only netted once for Villa in their 2014/15 Premier League campaign.
Villa fans may have been fearing the worst on Monday night when their side fell behind after just seven minutes as Hull’s attacking midfielder Evandro looped the ball into the net from the edge of the box. However, Hutton and co. rallied to produce a fine opening weekend performance and put the worries of the summer behind them.
Hutton was imperious in defence, winning four aerial duels and making four clearances, as well as marauding forward to help the attack. Only left-back Neil Taylor had more touches of the ball for Villa than the 69 made by the Scottish international, proving just how important Bruce’s full-backs were in the win.
Perhaps the only negative of Hutton’s performance was the obligatory yellow card he picked up, although he won’t get many in his career for jumping into the crowd to celebrate goals.