While the January transfer window does not get underway for a few more days, Steve Bruce and Villa’s management are already hard at work to find moves that will help Villa for this season and seasons to come.
One of the key elements for consistent growth in any football club or sports team is its ability to keep hold of and get the most out of young talent. Gary Gardner is yet to reach his full potential, but he is already demonstrating competence in the Championship and will undoubtedly continue to improve over the coming weeks and months. He scored his first senior goal in Villa’s 1-1 draw with Birmingham City earlier this campaign, and his cross-field sprint to celebrate in front of the Villa fans demonstrated how much he wants to continue playing in claret and blue. With this in mind, Villa have given Gardner a new contract that will keep him at Villa Park until at least the 2020 season.
It is unclear what Gardner’s new wage package may look like, but it is unlikely to put a significant dent in Villa’s overall wage budget. In addition, signing Gardner to a new long-term contract guarantees that if another club makes him a top transfer target, they will have to pay Villa a sufficient fee for the midfielder’s services.
Gardner has certainly put his time in at Villa, recovering from multiple long term injuries and soldiering through loan spells without complaint. This year has been his first opportunity to nail down a place in the first team, and it is encouraging to see his loyalty and dedication to the club be rewarded.
Here’s what Gardner had to say about his new deal: