Report: Aston Villa loanee expected to return to club; will challenge £16m-rated star for position
Aston Villa defender Frederic Guilbert will return to the Premier League side next season after spending last season in France.
Birmingham Live report that the 26-year-old right-back is expected to stay with the Villains this summer. Guilbert will challenge Matty Cash for the position.
However, the club might sell the defender should an interested team come in with a guarantee of first-team football for the French fullback.
An impressive loan spell in France
Guilbert impressed in his short-term loan spell with Strasbourg. The fullback scored once and assisted four in 13 Ligue 1 appearances for the club. The defender only featured twice for Villa last campaign, both appearances coming in the League Cup.
The fullback was signed by Villa from Caen in the January transfer window, but the defender failed to make much of an impression for the Birmingham-based club.
However Guilbert’s performances this year have seemingly caught the attention of Dean Smith ahead of next season.
Guilbert is an instant replacement for Elmohamady
With Ahmed Elmohamady leaving the club as a free agent this summer, Villa need a backup right-back this summer. However, in Guilbert, they have exactly that.
The French defender showed last season with Strasbourg that he has the quality to compete at the highest level in Europe, and Guilbert could prove to be good competition for Cash during the summer.
The former Nottingham Forest defender has thrived since making the reported £16m move to Villa last year according to Sky Sports News. Cash was a consistent presence in Smith’s strongest XI, but the fullback was occasionally hampered by injury problems.
Yet with Guilbert back in the team, this will offer both Smith and Cash some assurance that if another injury was to occur to the defender next season, the French defender will be able to come in as a ready-made replacement.