16 September 2014 16:40
Aston Villa defender Alan Hutton has signed a new three-year contract, capping a remarkable turnaround in his fortunes at the club.
The Scotland international has endured a difficult time at Villa Park in recent seasons and, until the beginning of the new Premier League campaign, had not featured for the club since May 2012.
Hutton, who moved to the club in August 2011, was even told by manager Paul Lambert earlier this year that it was unlikely he would ever play for Villa again.
“Like everybody else here, I’ve always trained hard so I’ve been able to come back strong this season and the benefits of that have been excellent for me,” the 29-year-old told the club’s official website.
“I kept my head down, worked hard, came in every day and it’s paid off. Now I just want to go on and take this opportunity given me by the manager.
“We’ve made a really strong start to the season and we want to continue in the same vein. The squad has depth and a great mix of youth and experience which should stand us in good stead over the rest of the season.”
Manager Lambert added: “You know exactly what you will get from Alan, he’s an excellent professional and he’s made an excellent start to the season for us, helping to drive the defence and adding his experience to the mix.
“The way he’s played, he’s made a big contribution to the great start we’ve made, as have all of the players, because it’s very much a squad game and you need that level of focus and commitment from everyone in the group.”
Hutton spent time on loan at Nottingham Forest, Mallorca and Bolton Wanderers during his time in the wilderness, but now finds himself part of Lambert’s plans once again.
Having initially been frozen out since his compatriot’s arrival in the dugout, Hutton has played every minute of Villa’s league matches so far.
And the Midlands club have taken many by surprise – sitting second after four fixtures having picked up a 1-0 win at Liverpool last time out.
Villa host Arsenal in the Premier League on Saturday.