Aston Villa Close In On 3-Time Premier League Winner: A Smart Choice By Bruce

Aston Villa, having narrowly missed out on a Premier League return last season, made a strong start to the new campaign with back to back wins under Steve Bruce. But a series of dismal outcomes in the following weeks have raised doubts over their summer business, particularly the failure to tie down iconic John Terry for another year. Bruce, meanwhile, has apparently figured out an alternative to fix the defensive frailties and has identified Robert Huth, the three-time Premier League winner, as someone who can steady things at the back.

Robert Huth – Fact File

The 34-year-old former Germany international joined Chelsea as a teenager where he mostly spent his time as the understudy of John Terry. He was a part of the Blues’ back to back Premier League winning squad ( 2004-05, 2005-06) under Jose Mourinho but moved to Middlesbrough later on for regular minutes. The big centre-back, however, gained attention during his spell with Stoke City where he formed a towering central defensive partnership with Ryan Shawcross. There he continued as the preferred option under Tony Pulis for several years but saw his game-time interrupted months after the appointment of Mark Hughes following a knee injury.

Huth struggled to regain his place next season and was loaned out to newly promoted Leicester City who were struggling to retain their top-flight status. The Foxes, meanwhile, enjoyed an incredible late run to overcome a relegation scare and the defensive ace was roped in permanently in summer 2015.

He was an invaluable part of Leicester’s miraculous 2015-16 Premier League triumph where he formed a formidable partnership alongside skipper Wes Morgan in the deep defensive line. Huth continued to be their first-choice centre-back but eventually lost his place to Harry Maguire following a foot injury that ruled him out for the entire 2017-18 season.

Pros and Cons

Huth’s experience will be key for the Villans who need to be more resilient defensively. His physicality, aerial supremacy, hard tackling traits and aggression will introduce rigidity to their depleted backline that has conceded 11 goals so far in 6 league outings.

But his fitness remains a massive concern as Huth did not feature at all during the previous term. His absence of playing minutes and lack of speed might force him to take time before settling into the surroundings of Championship football.

What He Will Bring To Aston Villa

Villa have already got Mile Jedinak and James Chester, two veteran resources for the backline but need proper depth and further quality to script a promotion battle. Although the profound experience and leadership skills of John Terry will be missed at Villa Park, Robert Huth’s Premier League expertise¬†makes¬†it a gamble worth taking for the Claret and Blue who need a significant uplift to steady the ship after a rocky start.

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