Mile Jedinak’s time at Aston Villa has been defined by a single concept. Regression.
Regression in this particular instance should not be tied into the idea of failure. Jedinak’s regression at Aston Villa is more positional.
Ever since the Australian giant arrived from Crystal Palace two seasons ago, he has been deployed further and further back on the pitch.
Originally a commanding centre-midfielder in a double pivot, Mile moved back to occupy a defensive midfield position. When required, he would drop back even further as a half-back, ensuring there was centre back cover when the defense adjusted to a full-back overlap. Finally, it seems Jedinak will now be converted into a centre-back this coming season.
Jedinak’s final conversion can only be attained with playing time. However, despite his defensive qualities, Villa fans still do not trust the Australian to hold down Villa’s defense. Again, only time can help Jedinak here.
If Jedinak is given true time and training to adapt, it might be a money-saving masterstroke from a team in desperate need of central defenders.
However, for the meantime at least, it seems as though Jedinak will anchor Villa’s midfield until the time comes for him to drift back, and back, and back.