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Aston Villa defence told to raise standards by former star amid persistent transfer links

Alan Hutton has hinted that the Aston Villa defence need to up their games, or they may find themselves being usurped by potential inbound stars.

Villa’s form has been up and down for much of this term. Indeed, Dean Smith was sacked after a run of five successive defeats. When Steven Gerrard took over, things appeared to change for the better. The former Rangers manager won three of his first four games in charge.

However, he has not managed to inspire his side into stringing together all too many consistent performances. Villa did win three games on the spin between February and March.

However, the Villans are now on a four-game losing streak. The defence has come under scrutiny during the current poor run.

Villa have conceded nine goals in the last four. What’s more, they were thumped 4-0 last time out, in Gerrard’s heaviest defeat as a manager. Villa’s defence constantly chopping and changing likely does not help matters.

Ezri Konsa and captain Tyrone Mings have been the preferred centre-back pairing for most of the season, and played during three of those four defeats. However, many fans are clamouring for January signing Calum Chambers to return to the side; he has played just six times since his move from Arsenal.

Kortney Hause has also been deployed in Villa’s backline seven times this season. As such, it seems there is no definitive order regarding the centre-back positions.

Former Villa man Alan Hutton feels that the defence is likely an area that will change come the end of the season.

“I think it’s somewhere that Gerrard will look to strengthen [defence],” he told Football Insider.

“It’s difficult for me to say because I know the players but the facts are the facts. Defensively, it’s not being good enough and I think reinforcements are needed.”

Villa defence told to up their games

Hutton also thinks that some fresh faces being added to the defence could motivate the current unit.

“This is not me saying that that’s them out the window. You need players coming in to push those already there,” he said.

“I had it my whole career. People came in and tried to take my place and I went: ‘You know what? You’re going to have to fight me for it.’

“It raised my game. That is probably what needs to happen.”

Indeed, there have been whisperings over a Villa move for Liverpool centre-back Joe Gomez. Should they pull off that deal, he would likely come in and challenge for a starting spot in the defence.

READ MORE: John McGinn forces the hand of Aston Villa with rousing endorsement of potential signing

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