As the Birmingham Mail first reported was likely to happen, Ashley Westwood has put pen to a new five-year contract with Aston Villa.
BREAKING NEWS: Midfielder @ARWesty15 pens a new long-term Villa deal. Details are here: http://t.co/7OluCnb4ha #AVFC pic.twitter.com/w8MB0RTDnx— Aston Villa FC (@AVFCOfficial) August 12, 2015
The deal will keep Westwood with Aston Villa through the 2019-20 season, and continues a trend begun this summer of signing key players to long-term contracts. Micah Richards, Scott Sinclair, Idrissa Gueye, Nathan Baker, Rudy Gestede, Ciaran Clark, Jordan Ayew, Jordan Veretout, Jordan Amavi, and now Westwood have all signed contracts this summer that are at least four years long.
That may not seem like much, but consider that you could put together a decent starting XI (minus a keeper) from that list. Add in Carles Gil, who signed a contract through 2018-19 when he joined the club, and you have eleven long-term players, all of whom you could feasibly build around.
Westwood has been one of Villa's most consistent, motoric midfielders, and having him around for the next five seasons is a very smart move by the club. Now priorities should shift to seeing if we can't get new deals for Jores Okore, and possibly Callum Robinson and Libor Kozak.