BIRMINGHAM, ENGLAND - APRIL 10: Kyle Walker of Aston Villa with the ball during the Barclays Premier League match between Aston Villa and Newcastle United at Villa Park on April 10, 2011 Birmingham, England. (Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images)
For all those hoping that Kyle Walker would become a permanent fixture with Aston Villa, it's time to put aside those dreams and remember a back four of Carlos Cuellar/Luke Young, James Collins, Richard Dunne and Stephen Warnock. Tottenham Hotspur locked down Walker to a five year deal on Tuesday, and Alex McLeish is unlikely to seek another loan deal for the defender.
Which is fine, really -- do we really want to become a club that takes the youngsters of other clubs, giving them experience before sending them back as better players? That doesn't fit well with "Proud history, bright future." Villa are well known for having bright young talent and an excellent reserve team, so rather than training up others' future stars, it's best to focus on our own. After one poor game from Eric Lichaj, he was shipped off to Leeds, rather than allowing his development with the first team.Lichaj did well at Leeds, actually, making much more of an impression than Barry Bannan, who didn't even get a start, as far as I remember. It seems best to allow him to share playing time with Young while using a rotation of Cuellar - Dunne - Collins in central defense. It would still be nice to pick up a quality defender, but McLeish can likely create a solid back four with this set up.
And it's easy to see why Walker wouldn't fit in with the Scot's plans. Yes, Walker impressed by scoring in his FA Cup debut. He was an instant starter, with Young shifting over on his return as Warnock continued to be given the cold shoulder. But his defense was often less than adequate. The youngster could get forward, but often at the expense of his defensive duties. McLeish would likely have little tolerance for such mistakes.
But c'mon, guys, he's only 20!!