Former Aston Villa full-back Alan Hutton has been raving about the impact Jed Steer made during the club’s promotion winning campaign.
The Villans were promoted from the Championship to the Premier League in the 2018/19 season, beating Derby County 2-1 in the play-off final at Wembley.
However, they were not even in promotion contention for large parts of the season. By February they were languishing in mid-table only for a club record 10-match winning streak to propel them into the top six.
For whatever reason things suddenly clicked for Dean Smith’s side, and one of the things that proved to be difference was the inclusion of Steer, 27, between the sticks.
Earlier on in the campaign they had used Orjan Nyland and Lovre Kalinic, but neither performed particularly well for the West Midlands side. They were eventually dropped for Steer in February and Hutton believes that the presence of the former Norwich City trainee was a huge factor in their strong run of form which led to promotion.
Speaking to Football Insider, the former Scotland international said: “They did bring in a few and for whatever reason some of them didn’t work out. I really found it when Jed came in, it settled everything.
“He’s very good with his feet, very composed and him being like that allowed us to start attacks and play the way we wanted to play. I do think overall, when you look back at it, when he started playing we did calm down the team which helped.
“Maybe I was a little bit surprised at the impact he had, but not in his ability. We all knew he was amazing with his feet, he showed that all through training but he never quite got the opportunity that he was after for one reason or another.
“When he did eventually get the opportunity he’s grasped it with both hands and well deserved. He was another one that really saved us in particular games – the save in the West Brom game at home, there are certain moments that just he just outshone everybody.”
Despite Steer’s outstanding form towards the end of last season, which saw him keep six clean sheets in 16 matches en-route to the play-offs, it wasn’t enough to prevent him being replaced himself this season.
Villa decided to sign England international Tom Heaton from Burnley in the summer, leaving Steer as the number two.
So far this season he has made just one appearance, in their 6-1 mauling of Crewe Alexandra in the EFL Cup.
Aston Villa fans, just how big an impact did Jed Steer make during your 2018/19 promotion campaign? Let us know in the comments below…
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