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Aston Villa 2018-19 player preview: Tommy Elphick

The Elphick Strikes Back

Aston Villa v Bristol City - Sky Bet Championship
Walking back into the squad?
Photo by David Rogers/Getty Images

Exit stage left John Terry — enter the Elphick?

Before you laugh, sigh, scream or just stop reading — hear me out.

The spot next to James Chester in the back line may be the most important decision Steve Bruce has to make going into the 18/19 season. The 30-year old defender is one of the two choices and the only veteran natural CB that could play next to Chester (Jedinak being the other option).

Tommy Elphick was called on around in December of 2017 and stepped in well for the club in four Championship matches — wins: Middlesbrough, Bristol City. Tie: Millwall. Loss: Brentford. At the end of the January transfer window Elphick was loaned to Reading where he started two matches, got injured, and started the final two matches of the year.

Obviously there will be mixed feelings if Elphick is called upon in the starting lineup. The injuries are a concern. His performance early on when he got to Villa was.... less than stellar. That said — it was a new club — loads of pressure as the captain — and the team under Roberto di Matteo was a disappointed all over the pitch do I don’t think you can lay all those ties on a single player.

Transfer activity pending, Tommy Elphick is going to be called on to step up. And he is going to need to if Villa want to be near the top of the table.