Aston Villa manager Steve Bruce confirmed with the media that Alan Hutton will not be offered a new contract extension into next season. The 33-year old fullback is set to become a free agent on July 1st.
With the press gathered for Steve Bruce’s pre-match media session against Burton Albion, the Aston Villa manager extrapolated on rumors of reports stating Alan Hutton would not receiving a contract extension.
Bruce confirmed the fullback Hutton will not be offered a new contract, as it stands, telling the Birmingham Mail:
"“I think I said to Alan, I had to be honest with him to say, ‘Look, at this position where we are we’re not in a position to offer anybody a new contract’,” Bruce told Birmingham Mail columnist Tom Ross. “The way the situation with the club is in finances and Financial Fair Play and I think we all need to know where we are, whether we’re in the Championship or we’re in the Premier League – if we’re in the Championship we’ll have to cut, it’s as straightforward as that. I’ve spoken to the people above me and we’re not in a position to offer anybody a new contract just yet. Alan Hutton has been in a situation where I’ve been here for 15 months and he’s done terrifically well. But we’ll have to look after the club and sometimes my job is to look after the club too.”"
The Scottish Roberto Carlos not being offered a new contract shouldn’t be a surprise to anyone. He would spend the majority of the 2018/2019 season at the age of 34 – quite advanced for an outside position. But the reasoning, and timing of such an announcement, is a bit awkward.
Hutton is enjoying a good spell at Aston Villa, playing a far better left back than right back during his claret and blue stay. His 10 appearances on the left this season outrank his 9 appearances on the right. He has displaced Neil Taylor and seems he will not giving-up the position anytime soon.
With a plethora of fullbacks signed to long-term deals, Hutton’s future likely lies elsewhere. James Bree, Ahmed Elmohamady, Ritchie De Laet, and Neil Taylor are all under contract for multiple years, as Academy products Mitch Clark and Oscar Borg push for first-team inclusion too. Furthermore, should the club ultimately achieve promotion, the left back position seems due for a much-needed upgrade.
In the Premier League, Villa could possibly offer a one-year extension, but it should only be as the club’s fifth fullback, third-choice at both spots. At this stage of his career, Alan Hutton should not be playing regularly in England’s top flight. He, among, 6-7 other players (and Randy Lerner, of course), were major culprits during Aston Villa’s doomed relegation season in 2015/2016. Another season in the Championship, however, will be the beginning of a rebuild, one Hutton will not be a part of.
On the bright side, Hutton has a chance to erase all previous ill will with supporters by playing an integral part during a promotion season. God knows no one enjoys Aston Villa more, or fights harder every 90 minutes than Alan Hutton himself – and that should be cherished.