After the news that Gardner and Robinson have signed on the dotted line, it is pleasing to hear that the last of this summer's potential free agents will continue at the club. Janoi Donacien, 20, has been one of the strongest defenders in Villa's U21 side and was one of many heroes in the 2012-13 NextGen Series triumph.
Donacien has yet to make his Villa debut, but did appear on the bench a couple of times last season when injury crisis hit. He will be hoping to have more of a role in the coming campaign. In an interview for the official website, Donacien seemed enthusiastic:
"This is the right club for me to keep on progressing. I had a discussion with the manager at the end of the season and he said that hopefully I'd be looking to progress at the club.
"There are a lot of top players at this club who I am hoping to learn from.
"Hopefully I can get a good pre-season under my belt, get a good run-out and continue my progress."
Donacien is a strong candidate for a loan move to gain experience next season, though given Villa's lack of depth at centre back in the reserve teams it's possible that Villa might want to keep him around another season, learning from the likes of Vlaar. That is, if Villa can convince the captain to sign a new deal, along with several other important players who could leave on a free next summer (broken record, yada yada...).