Alan Hutton hasn’t had the easiest time as an Aston Villa player since he joined from Tottenham Hotspur in 2011. In fact, some of the time he has spent at the club has been torrid.
The Scottish defender was loaned out three times in his seven years at the club, joining Nottingham Forest, Mallorca and Bolton Wanderers respectively. He even came close to joining Mallorca permanently, but the club couldn’t afford a permanent deal.
But Hutton, who was labelled as a member of Villa’s bomb-squad, has turned opinion on it’s head and is now a firm fan favourite amongst the Villa faithful.
Hutton had a decent finish to the end of last season, Villa’s first in the Championship, and cemented himself in the right-back position ahead of new signing James Bree and the injured Ritchie de Laet.
However, with the arrival of Ahmed Elmohamady and Robert Snodgrass this season, Hutton’s opportunities in his favoured right-back position looked to be wavering, leaving him sidelined.
Hutton was placed on the bench for many a game, only starting games in the early season when Elmohamady had injuries.
Suspension and injury to left-back Neil Taylor left Bruce with a clear issue in filling the left-back position, with no obvious deputy to Taylor. Hutton jumped at the opportunity and has cemented the position as his own in recent months. He’s performing that well that he’s now freezing a natural left-back out of the first eleven.
Hutton has always garnered attention with Villa fans for the amount of effort he put in during games, and stood out as someone that was actually attempting to do something about Villa’s poor form in their relegation season.
But Alan has since become much of a cult icon amongst Villa fans, both on the pitch and on social media, with the Scottish Cafu (or is Cafu the Brazilian Hutton?) being praised consistently for his dedication to Aston Villa.
He is one of three senior players to remain at the club since relegation, and is joined by Gabriel Agbonlahor and Micah Richards. Out of the three, he is the stand-out performer, and fans are more enamoured with Hutts than they are with one-club-man Agbonlahor.
That’s all the Villans want. Dedication, hard-work and the ability to overcome. Hutton has all three of these. He’s dedicated to the shirt he pulls on every game, he works hard, and he’s overcome being frozen out of the squad, being a major part of the club’s worst year in recent history and overcome losing his place to a new signing.
At 33, Hutton is in the last year of his contract with Villa, and his position at the club hangs more than likely on whether we achieve promotion or not. But regardless, if he continues as he is, he’ll be remembered fondly by Villa fans.