The Chalkboard: Aston Villa could try three at the back if Hause returns

If Kortney Hause returns to Aston Villa this summer it’ll be yet more shrewd business following the acquisition on a permanent basis of Anwar El Ghazi.

There was a worry towards the back end of the season that Villa would have to bring in a number of new faces.

However, by bringing back those who have already enjoyed time at the club, it’ll go a long way to helping the team settle quicker in the Premier League.

The Villans have already triggered their £3m option to buy Hause and after impressing in the Championship, he appears ready to make the step up to the top-flight.

On the chalkboard

If the defender does return to the club this summer it could give manager Dean Smith a new tactic to think about.

The former Brentford man has usually favoured a four-man defence but in Hause, they’d have a player capable of fitting into multiple positions.

As such, a cunning switch of formation should be considered.

It will of course rely on the business they do elsewhere, but changing to a three-man defensive system tried and tested by Midlands rivals Wolves could be incredibly beneficial.

Given Hause has featured at both left back and in the centre, there are reasons to suggest he’d be comfortable as the left central defender in a defensive trio.

Having already played in the same system under Nuno Santo, it’s a formation that the 23-year-old should be capable of having a key role in.

If you factor in the large periods where the club struggled defensively last season, it’s crucial they find a remedy for that as soon as possible in the Premier League.

It’s difficult to assess whether moving to this system would solve things, but after finding life difficult in the Championship in defensive phases, it’s surely worth experimenting with, especially now Tyrone Mings has left.

The arrival of Frederic Guilbert, who is a good crosser of the ball, means he could play as a wing back. Meanwhile, Matt Targett, who has attracted interest from the Villans, should be competent in a similar role on the left after featuring for Southampton as a left midfielder and in defence.

As a result, Villa could quite easily switch things up in 2019/20.