Ritchie De Laet played just twice for Aston Villa this season before going out on loan to Melbourne City.
His spell with the Midlands club hasn’t gone according to plan, struggling to establish himself in the side since he arrived in the 2016/17 season.
But, with his contract expiring this summer, the club is leaving the door open to possibly extend his current deal, according to Birmingham Live.
Reacting to the news on Twitter, Villa fans shared mixed views of the player, with some appearing very sympathetic towards him.
Some supporters recalled how well he did during pre-season but one individual said they’d be surprised if he ever played competitively for the club again.
Another fan claimed that injury had cost him, with the Belgian defender barely featuring since arriving at Villa Park.
However, since going out to Australia he’s been in fine form, flourishing in a more advanced role. In 23 outings he’s scored seven goals, making him the club’s top scorer.
It’s a level of performance that may convince Dean Smith to give him a new deal with Ahmed Elmohamady’s contract also expiring this summer. However, it remains unclear whether an offer is on the table for De Laet.
Here’s the best of the reaction from Twitter.
Should’ve had his chance this season.
— Josh X (@joshhavfc) April 17, 2019
That’s sensible management by Smith. In reality I’d be very surprised if he ever plays competitively for us again.
— Brian O Flaherty (@Flatsy1) April 17, 2019
Injury cost him but still a player in there
— Phil (@phildaroom) April 17, 2019
Good. @de_laet_r was our best player in pre-season and has been shipped off to be someone else’s best player. If he’s open to playing for the club, I’m definitely happy for him to stay.
— Sam McAllister (@SupersizedSam) April 17, 2019
Pre season was amazing
— reece taylor (@reeceta07663415) April 17, 2019
Remember him doing well this pre season
— Jamie Underhill (@___JamieAVFC___) April 17, 2019
He was the best player pre season, then nowhere to be seen.
— Gary Glasgow (@GPDecorating) April 17, 2019