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Lambert set to make two additions without spending a thing

In a summer where he won't have much money to work with, Paul Lambert is going to have to get creative. He appears to be starting with a novel concept: use the players the club has.

Stu Forster

Paul Lambert will he operating with a fairly small budget this summer, regardless of what report you're listening to. In order to make improvements to Aston Villa he will have to look for bargains, free agents, loans, and anything else to save some money here or there. Luckily, he seems to have remembered that there is one source of players that won't cost him an extra bit of money at all: the roster he already has available.

After doing whatever he could to get them off of the Villa books, Lambert seems to be ready to welcome back Darren Bent and Alan Hutton, two of the most prominent members of the "bomb squad." Bent was sent to Fulham on loan last year, and Hutton has never played in a competitive match under Lambert. Both players are on (given their ability/status) absurdly high wages, but neither have been able to attract a buyer, so their costs appear to be sunk. 

I'm glad to see Lambert making this decision. I don't really want to see either Bent or Hutton playing for Aston Villa, but given the depth issues this club has had Lambert's insistence on freezing them out has been absurd. Villa have paid for them, and Villa continue to pay their wages. If loan or transfer moves can be worked out, send them off. But in the meantime, at least get something out of what you're paying for.

And who knows, maybe one or both could prove to be useful. Perhaps playing Alan Hutton would mean that Leandro Bacuna could move to midfield (finally). Hutton is not a great defender, but it's hard to imagine that he's significantly worse than Bacuna at times last year. And Bent cannot possibly be worse than Grant Holt, who consistently made appearances from the bench. That right there is an upgrade, and yes I'm aware of how pathetic that sentence is. 

It's becoming increasingly clear that the 2014-15 season will be one in which fans are going to need to accept "survival" as the goal. Towards that end, Bent and Hutton can play a part. It hopefully won't be a big one, but using them as added depth rather than literally ignoring them is the best decision that could be made.