According to The Hull Daily Mail, Aston Villa fans have been calling for on-loan defender Tommy Elphick to return to Villa Park in January.
The 31-year-old was recently voted the Tigers’ Player of the Month for October, and has been one of the club’s shining lights in what has been a troublesome season so far for the Yorkshire outfit.
However, Villa do have a recall clause in his contract for January, something that seems absolutely necessary if The Lions are going to turn their season around.
With only two recognised centre-backs at the club currently- James Chester and loanee Axel Tuanzebe-, Aston Villa have severely struggled defensively this season. They have needed to rely on part-time centre-backs such as Mile Jedinak and Alan Hutton for cover.
Such was the extent of former Aston Villa manager Steve Bruce’s disapproval of Elphick that he would let him go on loan in the summer without any discernible depth to his defence. Ultimately, that was a leading factor in Villa’s struggles this season, and Bruce can be seen as an architect of his own downfall. It seems bizarre that he was ever allowed to go, but it is sometimes unclear what goes on behind closed doors. However, Dean Smith will surely not be so foolish.
After joining Villa in 2016, Elphick’s career started very promisingly. But the arrival of Bruce midway through his first season saw him fall out of favour immensely at Villa Park, resulting in a loan to Reading for part of last season as well. It has to be time for him to return.