If he isn’t already. James Chester should be your favorite Villa player.
The man in the middle of Villa’s defense played all 46 Championship matches last year — and 45 the year before when he joined the the team after the first match was completed so he played all possible league matches that year too. Here is a man who was asked to give up the arm band to a newcomer to the club in John Terry and did it without a single (public) complaint and put in above average performances on a regular basis. And, health pending, the 29 year-old defender is going to continue to improve.
Chester is going to be asked to do even more in the coming campaign because of the lack of depth in Villa’s back line. He and Elphick did not work well together in the early days of the Roberto Di Matteo reign — but that has to change if Villa are going to have a successful year. With either Elphick or Jedinak next to him (transfers would obviously change that) — Chester is going to have the carry the load.
The good thing? Anyone who has watched the Welshman over the last couple of years has seen that his shoulders are plenty broad enough to handle the extra weight.