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The Chalkboard: Does Villa move for Hause suggest Elphick is already about to be ousted from starting XI?

Dean Smith is set to infuriate Tommy Elphick, right after the defender returned from his loan to Hull City, with reports claiming that the Villans are set to complete the signing of Kortney Hause from Wolverhampton Wanderers.

On the chalkboard

The Express and Star reported on Tuesday that 23-year-old Hause is set to become Smith’s second signing since taking charge of the club, following discussions between Villa and Wolves.

Hause joined the Premier League side from Gillingham in 2014, but has struggled for minutes under Nuno Espirito Santo and only featured for the Molineux outfit once during their triumphant Championship campaign.

The League Cup had been the West Ham product’s home this season, featuring in his side’s win over Sheffield Wednesday and defeat to Leicester on penalties – rounding off a total six outings in gold and black over the past 18 months.

Hause is still considered to possess great potential, and the Express and Star’s report suggests that Smith has taken a shine to the defender thanks to being able to play at left-back as well as at centre-half.

Pl>ymaker FC’s Thogden was at the crucial relegation 6-pointer between Bolton and Rotherham. Check out the video below…

Elphick back and out already

Aston Villa only took up their option to recall Elphick from his loan to Hull at the end of December to help cover a lack of depth in Smith’s defensive roster.

It could have acted as the 31-year-old’s second chance for a future at Villa Park, before his contract expires in the summer, and the 6 foot 2 centre-back impressed on his return against Queens Park Rangers.

The former AFC Bournemouth ace led the backline as James Bree, James Chester and Alan Hutton joined him against Steve McClaren’s side, recording a WhoScored match rating of 7.7 – far better than his defensive colleagues.

His rating consisted of an 82% pass success rate, winning 11 aerial duels and recording two interceptions.

Tuanzebe still missing

Should the expected deal for Hause go through, the 23-year-old will likely line up alongside Chester in Smith’s back four, at least until Axel Tuanzebe returns from his lengthy stint on the sidelines after foot surgery.

Although Smith would be relying on potential over proven quality, Hause should offer his new manager a defender competent at challenging for the ball in the air – which Elphick excels at – blocking the ball and playing out from the back.

Who should Smith field at centre-back? Let us know in the poll below…

Article title: The Chalkboard: Does Villa move for Hause suggest Elphick is already about to be ousted from starting XI?

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