Gary Gardner has spent the majority of his villa career on loan at Championship clubs. He’s spent parts of the last five seasons at Coventry City, Sheffield Wednesday, Brighton & Hove Albion, and Nottingham Forest.
As Gardner has spent years playing in the Championship, Villa have spent time playing themselves into the Championship. If Gardner is ever going to make it at Villa, it has to happen starting this season.
Gardner is still just 24 years old, so it’s not as if an unsuccessful season at Villa will end his career. But if Villa can’t find a use for him at the level he’s been playing at for years, then they probably have to move him on.
If Gardner can get into the first team, then he definitely could be useful. He’s shown flashes while out on loan. Maybe Roberto Di Matteo will finally be the manager that figures out how Villa can use Gary Gardner.