Aston Villa

Aston Villa: Noel Whelan “impressed” by summer signing Matt Targett

Aston Villa: Noel Whelan “impressed” by summer signing Matt Targett

Noel Whelan admits that he has been “impressed” by what he’s seen from Aston Villa’s summer signing Matt Targett.

Speaking to Football Insider, the former Leeds striker believes that the 23-year-old could prove to be a “really good signing” for the West Midlands club.

Targett experienced a slow start at Villa Park following his £14m switch to the club from Southampton in the summer.

Neil Taylor had been preferred at left-back initially, though after solid performances from Targett against Burnley and Norwich City, it now looks as though it will be the club’s summer signing who lines up for the Villans when Brighton come to visit after the international break.

“I was very impressed,” Whelan told Football Insider. “He has waited a long time for his opportunity, he was hardly used at the start, and seized it in the perfect way. It’s been a great start for him.

“It helps when you have good players in front of you, that makes a huge difference. But he was the box-to-box player on the left side they needed.

“Targett has really good Premier League experience and was signed to strengthen a position that needed strengthening. He could be a really good signing.”

Targett, who has made 12 appearances for England U21s, ended a 15-year association with Saints in the summer when he departed the club for Aston Villa.

The Eastleigh-born defender rose through the club’s academy system and went on to make 43 top-flight appearances for the club, but always found it difficult breaking into the first-team regularly ahead of Ryan Bertrand

Targett has always had a vast amount of quality at his disposal, proven by his successful loan spell with Fulham during the 2017-18 campaign, where he helped the Cottagers win promotion to the Premier League. This season alone, he’s made 1 tackle per game which is close to Taylor’s 1.3, despite the Welshman playing almost 400 minutes more than him, per WhoScored.

Furthermore, the ex-Saint is averaging far more crosses (0.5 to 0.1) over the same period, so clearly has an advantage over the Welshman in both an attacking and defensive sense.

His chances of first-team action were restricted at Saints, but hopefully, at Villa he will be given more of a platform to prove his worth in the top-flight. Judging by his start, he could well do just that.

Is Dean Smith getting the most out of Aston Villa's squad?

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