Centre Back Overload

Going into the 2017/18 season, Aston Villa now find themselves with a squad of notable named centre-backs.

Check out the roll call…

European Cup winner John Terry, once the highest paid player in the Premier League in 2007. Chris Samba, who Harry Rednapp said, would be “the best centre half in the Championship”, if he had stayed on at QPR, after they were relegated. James Chester, a European Championship semi-finalist centre-back with Wales. And even the much-maligned Micah Richards has a Premier League medal to his name.

Much has been made about Tommy Elphick being pointed to the exit door following Villa’s recent acquisition of both Terry and Samba, but with also the return to fitness of Ritchie De Laet, who can cover at centre-back, Villa are currently three potential centre-backs up on last season, so expect another to leave.

Baker’s Choice

Little has been said about the prospects of Nathan Baker, who had actually made decent progress in the Championship in the past couple of seasons and will feel he’s approaching his prime.

 

So, what does the immediate future hold for Baker?

With Villa, last season, and the previous season on loan at Bristol City, Baker managed 35 games and over in consecutive seasons, marking a considerable development in his career considering how susceptible to knocks and injuries, the centre-back had been.

While there are question marks over his reading of the game (which he often compensates through bravery, resulting in injury), Baker’s performance levels too were perhaps the best of his career, but the 26-year-old now faces being on the fringes of the Villa squad, if he sticks around.

Baker, considering his age – no longer ‘up-and-coming’ – needs to be a starter at Championship level. He only has to look at how his former teammate Ciaran Clark has flourished since he made the decision to leave Villa, to see the benefits of what could happen.

With Steve Bruce granting Chris Samba a contract, it potentially suggests a decision has already been made on Baker’s future, either by the club or the player himself.

There is apparently registered interest in the player, from what MOMS has heard on the grapevine, so Baker will have some decisions to make in the upcoming days and weeks.

Watch this space.

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6 COMMENTS

  1. Baker has a long term future at Villa but this season he should go out on loan to continue to develop his craft. Terry and Samba will get us up but then they are gone. Then it’s Baker time.

  2. We have singed a few more players. I always have sasaid since relegation the priority has been dumping the crap. We still have most of it. 5 defenders, 7 midfield players, and a couple of forwards should go. These are all seasoned, overpaid players who will not feature next season. 3 have sorted loan deals and we are probably paying half their wages. 1 other wants to go but “failed” his medical. These players are a distuptive influence and have cost us ple nty over the last few seasons, and that is without considering their wage which must amount to over £30m a season!. What kind of businees runs to pay wages to people who have an enormous negative effect! Until the manager and the rest of the teame cut our losses and and remove them I cannot see the club getting promotion. Another transfer opportunity wasted.

  3. Baker is still a important member of the squad, and will get enough games this coming season im sure, even with Samba now installed in the defensive ranks. And like what’s already been said, what happens in 12mths could effect more players than just Baker. As it is, we’ll be minus Terry or Samba and possibly a few others if SB don’t think people are up to scratch. Baker will fit nicely in the fold for now, and not even Terry or Samba will be up for playing every single match this season im sure, and SB will be doing plenty of rotation within the squad to support them and others.
    However, we don’t know what will lie ahead if we DO get Promoted to the Premiership this time around. You could say some of the current squad of players might not be good enough anyway, to give us decent chance of surviving in the big league ? So if I were him, i’d stick to where im safe for now, he’ll do enough, and only then at the end of the season consider then, what his options are.

  4. Baker must stay. How many games will Terry and Samba play. Will they be around next season. Keep him

  5. Bruce has said he wants 2 players for every position I see that as Terry, Chester Samba & Baker . Bruce has also said he’ll use Baker as cover for LB a position he played regularly for U21’swhen the regular CB’s were Clark & Lowery . As for DeLaet how fit is he ? We don’t seem to have seen much of him in pre season !

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