Paul Lambert has now locked up a keeper, most of a defense, and an exciting midfielder/striker combo for Aston Villa through at least the 2015-16 season. The latest addition is Matthew Lowton, who signed a four-year contract today that will see him in Birmingham until 2017. The defender was unquestionably one of Lambert's best signings last summer, and an integral part of the Villa defense.
Lowton started all but one Premier League match last season and was as notable for his highlights as he was for his consistency. He came to Birmingham last summer from League One Sheffield United. His performances at Aston Villa certainly could have earned him the club's player of the year honors without too much complaint. While he missed out on that reward, he did receive the goal of the season nod for this incredible effort at Stoke in April:
I'm starting to run out of creative things to say about all of these re-signing. But it did strike me that while Lambert is setting up the club very well for his tenure, he's also assuring that it's stable for a long time to come. I really cannot imagine this happening, but imagine Paul Lambert having a terrible season - or heck, a great one and getting hired away - unlike with the departure of MON 3 years ago, any incoming manager wouldn't have to deal with a crippling wage bill. In addition to being exciting talent, all of these signings represent stability that Aston Villa hasn't seen for quite a while.
We may not see results instantly, but this is how you build a club wisely. This is the sort of thing that's sustainable.