According to a recent report from The Daily Telegraph, Aston Villa are seeking to open contract negotiations with defender James Chester. The 29-year-old made the move to Villa Park back in the summer of 2016 and has since been an absolute revelation at the Midlands giants, playing a key part in their run to the Championship play-off final last season.
And reports suggest that Steve Bruce’s men are seeking to tie the centre back down to a new deal, and having only recently sealed an agreement with Jack Grealish over his future at Villa Park, it’s arguable that securing an agreement with Chester is just as important to the Villans as the recent Grealish deal.
Ultimately, the Midlands outfit looked set for a difficult season this time round as financial problems crippled the club during the summer, only for new investment to come in and give Bruce some funds to go out and strengthen his squad.
And it also meant that they had an easier job of keeping hold of 23-year-old Grealish, a target of Premier League side Tottenham, and while penning him down to a new five-year deal is clearly a statement of intent, it’s arguable that a motivation for it was to strengthen their hand in negotiations if and when interest comes in in the near future.
Thus, it is still perfectly plausible that Grealish could leave Villa Park come January or indeed come the summer, albeit the second tier side would be able to demand more for the attacker, which is why it is just as important that the club tie down their other more influential stars, of which Chester is certainly one.
The 29-year-old has been a mainstay in Bruce’s team over the last few years and certainly played his part in their run to fourth place and indeed the Championship play-off final last season, starting all 49 of their league games over the course of the campaign, and bagging a few crucial goals in the process.
And in becoming the captain of the side this time round, in which he has started all nine of their league matches so far, it’s pretty clear that the former West Brom and Hull City defender remains a vital member of the squad at Villa Park, with the 29-year-old playing as big a part as anyone in their excellent defensive record last term.
Thus, while Grealish is the man everyone has been talking about in the last few months, and as such tying him down to a new deal is good news for Villa fans, it’s just as important that fellow influential stars are also at Villa Park for the long-term – Chester certainly falls into that bracket.
As such, while Grealish’s new deal was important, securing an agreement with Chester over his future is just as significant to the Midlands heavyweights.
Villa fans… what do you think? Let us know!