The Birmingham Mail have claimed that Aston Villa are unlikely to offer defender James Chester a new contract before the end of the season – meaning his current deal will expire and the Welshman will become a free agent in the summer.
Chester, 31, is Villa’s club captain though Jack Grealish has been wearing the armband in his absence. During promotion to the Premier League, Chester played 28 of Villa’s first 29 Championship outings. But he suffered a knee injury.
That injury prevented him from playing again for the rest of the campaign. Villa gained promotion in his absence, and the former Hull City and West Brom defender has only managed to clock up two outings this season for Villa.
The Wales international has since gone on loan to Stoke City, and is waiting to make his debut for the club after being signed too late to feature against Derby County – a match which Stoke lost 4-0.
The report claims Villa will not offer him a new deal, making him a free agent at the end of the season. The Birmingham Mail claim Villa paid £8million to sign Chester, but after 126 appearances for the club, he has played his last game for Villa.
TBR’s view – Should Chester still be involved at Villa?
Given Villa are entering a relegation dogfight and need all the Premier League experience they can muster, perhaps it was a strange decision not to give Chester more game time – and indeed, let him leave the club.
Chester has clocked up 60 Premier League appearances throughout his career, and certainly offers just as much as Kortney Hause – if not more. A leader, experienced and knowledgeable when it comes to relegation scraps, have Villa made the right choice?