Former Aston Villa striker Kevin Phillips believes that defender James Chester should leave the club in order to reinvigorate his career.
The 30-year-old was out with a knee problem for three months in 2019 and has not featured in the Premier League this season, with Football Insider reporting this week that Middlesbrough are hoping to sign the centre-back.
Although Phillips praised the attitude of the Wales international in speaking to Football Insider, he feels that Chester would benefit from leaving Villa Park. He said: “He’s been a good player, he was on our radar when we were at Derby and Stoke.
“He suffered with injuries and it’s probably time for him to move on, yeah, definitely, for his own personal career. He’s done well, he’s helped them get to the Premier League. Good player, good attitude, wouldn’t surprise me if he moved on.”
Phillips’ recommendation of a Villa Park exit for Chester is quite understandable given how little football he has played for Dean Smith’s side this season. The 30-year-old’s only two first team appearances have both come in cup competitions and he has made the matchday squad for a Premier League fixture on just five occasions, having not been given a single top-flight minute since Aston Villa’s promotion last year. [via TransferMarkt]
As Phillips has said, the Wales defender’s lack of action in the current campaign is due in part to injury problems. He missed a sizeable portion of last season due to a knee injury and, after returning to training, he then injured his hamstring in pre-season. Prior to the first setback, he had missed just one Championship game in more than two and a half years at the club and scored 11 goals in that time, illustrating how central a figure he had been at Villa Park.
Aston Villa have one of the leakiest defences in the Premier League, with only Norwich conceding more than their 44 goals so far this season. That Chester has been unable to forge his way into the line-up whenever fit enough to be at least considered for action does not bode well for his future at the club under Smith. Therefore, it’s not hard to see why Phillips feels the 30-year-old should consider moving on, and the ex-Villa striker’s praise of the Wales international suggests that he only wants what he feels is best for Chester’s career.
Aston Villa fans, do you agree with Phillips’ advice for Chester about seeking a move away? Tell us what you think by commenting below!
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