Oh my. A few days after Shay Given made clear that he'd like another loan move and reminded us how an exiled player can still be classy, Alan Hutton seems to be the unwanted Villan to be headed out the door. The Scottish right back hasn't played for Villa since Paul Lambert became manager before the 2012-13 season. Instead, he has languished in a sort of footballer's purgatory, unable to get any action and publicly made aware of the fact that he would not be playing for Aston Villa any time soon.
It's somewhat understandable that Hutton was upset with the position, but it was apparently his doing that several transfers of him have fallen through, and thus he has been forced to get his only playing time on the Scottish national team, which still keeps choosing him. As we discussed on today's podcast, Hutton is in a position where he will likely have to either enjoy the benefits of a £40,000 per week contract while not playing, or take a pay cut to see regular football again.
But then a suitor came to light who desperately need the sort of help that Hutton can provide: Bolton. From here, I'll let Mark Yesilevskiy (who founded SB Nation's Bolton blog The Lion of Vienna Suite and now plies his trade at his own website) tell you about Bolton's situation:
The defensive situation at Bolton hasn't been great since the days of Sam Allardyce. It seems like it's been one stopgap for another. This season seems to be worse than the rest and by some distance. We were doing alright early on with Alex Baptiste on the right, Matt Mills and Tim Ream in the center, and Marc Tierney on the left. Tierney was badly hurt and it all went to shit. Bolton were forced to split up a decent central pairing in order to play Tim Ream on the left, using four central defenders at any given moment. There's no question that Bolton need fresh legs and preferably ones that are used to a wide game.
So yes, things are dire enough to call for an Alan Hutton solution. If the Mirror article is to be believed, Hutton could join the Wanderers as soon as tomorrow. The only thing left is to agree to salary demands. Villa will certainly have to eat part of Hutton's salary during the loan, and I wouldn't be surprised if it was as much as 70%. But really, it's a bit of relief from a player who was doing nothing for the Claret and Blue.
It's an interesting move, but one that Villa absolutely should be making. If Hutton can play well for Bolton, who are precariously close to the bottom of the Championship, he will increase his value and the chances that he can find a new team this summer.
The only people who make out poorly in this situation are Bolton fans, who will have to watch one of the most frustrating defenders in football. To them, we send both our thanks and our apologies.