Kortney Hause is young, hungry and has something to prove, and is certainly showing that on the pitch. If Aston Villa use the buy-option in his deal, he’ll be the first part of a widespread change at the club.
Words by Alan Wilson (@VILLAlan54)
After the Villa faithful were carried away on a wave of euphoria watching the return of “Super Jack”, his brilliant contender for goal of the season, 3 more goals and 3 much needed points against ‘The Rams’ on Saturday, you can forgive some fans for failing to notice how well Kortney Hause played initially at left back and then centre-back (after the unfortunate Tommy Elphick was carried off injured after the break). He looked quick, composed and hardly put a foot wrong in either position and showed how his versatility in being able to smoothly switch from one role to the other seamlessly.
After signing Hause from Wolves on loan in early January, few of the claret and blue faithful raised more than one eyebrow at his arrival. Dean Smith however may well have made somewhat of a landmark signing by demanding a clause giving Villa the option to sign Hause on a permanent deal in the forthcoming summer window.
All recent loan signings made by his predecessors have left Villa shortchanged. Robert Snodgrass seemed as disappointed as the Villa fans were, when he had to pack his bags and return to East London at the end of a season when he had become a firm favourite at Villa park by contributing hugely in the run to the play-off final. Lewis Grabban also disappeared in a ‘puff of smoke’ after scoring some key goals in the bid for promotion.
This season has seen Steve Bruce’s ‘loan’ signing Tammy Abraham winning over the Villa fans by being as sharp as a dagger and hitting 20+ league goals for the first time since the iconic Peter Withe. Option to sign him? Sadly, no.
So what is different now? All previous loan signings have been negotiated as short term, short-sighted deals often with ageing players and with no opportunity for Villa to follow up with a permanent deal. In this respect, the deal for Kortney Hause has heralded a new attitude and ‘game plan’ under Dean Smith and the senior team spearheaded by the experienced Christian Purslow, who is aided and abetted by new Sporting Director Jesus Garcia Pitarch. Villa have reportedly paid an initial £2m fee for Hause with a pre-agreed deal to take him on permanently if we want to, in the summer.
Hause is young, hungry to prove himself and is a self confessed perfectionist, who due to an unfortunate long term injury at Wolves, found himself behind Ryan Bennett, Connor Cody and Willy Bolly when the new manager arrived at his parent club.
What is most significant is that he is perhaps the first of many deals that Villa will be doing from now on, that will see them signing young talented players who will be the building blocks for Villa’s return to the Premier League. By signing young players that have years ahead of them to develop, Aston Villa will be building for long term success, rather than a yo-yo scenario which has been the failing of clubs like Norwich, Newcastle and Burnley in recent years.