Is Harry Arter the answer to Aston Villa’s defensive midfield hole?

CARDIFF, WALES - JANUARY 12: Cardiff player Harry Arter (r) is challenged by Jason Puncheon of Huddersfield during the Premier League match between Cardiff City and Huddersfield Town at Cardiff City Stadium on January 12, 2019 in Cardiff, United Kingdom. (Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)
CARDIFF, WALES - JANUARY 12: Cardiff player Harry Arter (r) is challenged by Jason Puncheon of Huddersfield during the Premier League match between Cardiff City and Huddersfield Town at Cardiff City Stadium on January 12, 2019 in Cardiff, United Kingdom. (Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images) /
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Bournemouth midfielder Harry Arter, currently on-loan at Cardiff City, is likely to be recalled, per report. And, uh, Aston Villa is interested in the Republic of Ireland international?

An interesting note from the Irish Independent details Bournemouth’s pending recall of midfielder Harry Arter at top-flight rival Cardiff City. Per the story, the Cherries have received transfer offers for the 29-year-old and will look to cash in.

Watford is one club heavily interested, mostly due to rumors that star midfielder Abdoulaye Doucouré will be transferred before the end of January. If that happens, the Hornets will need a replacement of similar style, like Arter. But the next club interested is…..Aston Villa?

Arter missed Saturday’s match against Newcastle and that could signify to all interested parties that he is available. While the story doesn’t specify the type of deal Bournemouth is looking for, it is presumably a permanent transfer. Arter is much older than Dean Smith’s typical targets which makes me think a permanent deal to Villa is more unlikely.

However, could Villa acquire the midfielder on loan with the promise of a promotion bonus paid to both player and parent club? It’s possible – there were rumors indicating John Terry had such a clause in his contract had the claret and blues advanced in last year’s play-off final. Arter would have to agree to drop down a level which could be a tough sell for a player starting, and playing well, for a Premier League Club. He does have expansive League One and Championship knowledge from previous seasons at Bournemouth, however.

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This is all just one report so more should be clarified in the coming days. If there is one thing we can say for certain it’s that Dean Smith is not satisfied with his midfield options sans Jack Grealish. He’s looking for upgrades, specifically those that fit his style and can play a more No. 6 role.

Maybe Arter is the guy! Maybe he is not. He turned 29 last month so he should have a few more years of solid play before he ages.