Dean Smith should recall Tommy Elphick from Hull City after the defender was named the club’s Player of the Month for October.
Elphick found himself ostracised from Villa Park by Steve Bruce when the former manager shifted the 31-year-old out on loan. In the end the former Bournemouth ace decided to join Hull over the likes of Queens Park Rangers.
Since making the temporary move, the Brighton & Hove Albion product has featured in 11 of the Tigers’ 16 games and even though they reside in the Championship relegation places on 15 points, has established himself as a fan favourite for the work he has put in.
Under Nigel Adkins, they have also found a habit of losing games but often only by a single goal. Only three times have they conceded more than two without scoring themselves.
Recently the fans also voted Elphick as Hull’s Player of he Month for October after starting each of the five games that made up the period, including fixtures with league leaders Leeds, as well as promotion hopefuls Sheffield United and West Bromwich Albion.
According to reports in the Birmingham Mail, Aston Villa will make funds available in January to strengthen wherever Smith sees appropriate.
The window will be the 47-year-old’s first in charge at Villa Park, but any deals will need to be done with a fine-toothed comb in order not to breach Financial Fair Play regulations.
The centre-back position is also one Smith is claimed to be interested in reinforcing, by the Birmingham Mail, given he currently has just two out-and-out centre-backs to regularly call upon in James Chester and Axel Tuanzebe.
Should Villa’s ‘Triangle of Power’ of Smith, sporting director Suso and CEO Christian Purslow not manage to offload those currently taking up financial space on the club’s books, breaking Elphick’s loan deal may be the best and cheapest way to improve Villa’s squad.