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football | Thursday, May 12, 2022 7:49 AM (Revised at: Thursday, May 12, 2022 8:15 PM)

Talking Football With....Alan Hutton: James Tavernier Has Premier League Ability

Talking Football With....Alan Hutton: James Tavernier Has Premier League Ability
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Ahead of the Europa League final between Rangers and Eintracht Frankfurt, we caught up with ‘the Scottish Cafu’, Alan Hutton, to discuss current affairs. He discussed how Morelos and Tavernier would thrive in the English Premier League, what his thoughts are on Aston Villa and what sort of transfer needs they might have, Allan Saint-Maximin and Tottenham.


Alfredo Morelos (19 goals) has impressed in front of goal for Rangers this year. Do you think he along with James Tavernier (17 goals) could thrive in the Premier League? Your former club Aston Villa seems to be in the need for attackers next season.

“Yeah, I think so. I’ve always been an admirer of obviously Morelos and Tavernier.”

“The Tavernier situation is a bit strange I think for someone with his numbers. I don’t understand why anyone from the Premier League hasn’t taken the opportunity to bring him down. It’s a bit of a strange one.”

“So, I do believe they got the ability and that there will be people watching because their performances week in and week out and in European competition have been at such a high level.”

Speaking of Villa, where do you think they’ve done well and lacked this season?

“I think, obviously going forward is their strength. If you look at the squad they’ve got a lot of choices upfront. (Ollie) Watkins, (Danny) Ings, (Emi) Buendia, (Philippe) Coutinho… If they can hold on and continue I think it would be a good thing.”

“Where they’ve gone wrong I think defensively. They made too many mistakes, individual mistakes, and it’s cost them within games.”

“There’s been no real consistency through this season. I mean one week you have an amazing performance and it gives the result and then next week you don’t really know what you’re gonna get and you go through a losing run. So I think that’s something that Steven Gerrard will look to fix.”

Any areas that Steven Gerrard needs to reinforce? He mentioned the need for a specialist No. 6. Any names that stand out in that position who could be a good fit at Villa?

“Yeah, I mean obviously being a midfielder myself, I spotted the weakness within the midfield, and he spoke a lot about the number 6. I think the likes of Yves Bissouma from Brighton is a standout candidate. He’s got an excellent season. The likes of Kalvin Phillips, as well. I think he gotta hold on depending on what happens with Leeds.”

“These are guys that I think would take Aston Villa to the next level and these would be the type of players he will be looking to bring through the door.“

Allan Saint-Maximin is a name that has emerged on the Aston Villa transfer radar. Do you think he could be a good addition?

“I can’t believe for one minute that Newcastle will let him leave if I’m totally honest.”

“But I think he’s one of those players that excites fans, lifts people off their seats, they enjoy watching him. So of course, I mean, you would love to see him at Villa Park, I think he would thrive there.”

“He’s definitely got the ability, so that would also be an excellent guy to bring in your squad but I can’t see Newcastle letting someone with that quality leave.”

Which players do you think Tottenham should target in the summer? Kalvin Phillips has been mentioned as well as Pau Torres from Villarreal.

“Yeah, I mean, there’s no getting away from it. Obviously, the man wants to bring in his own players. I mean, defensively they looked at the likes of (Milan) Skriniar from Milan. Could he come in, I think he would strengthen up the backline.”

“I’ve always thought a what they are missing that creativity, the likes of Dybala or somebody like that. Like a number 10 who can come in and really change the dynamic of a football team. So, of course, there are question marks over a lot of people. Even at right wing-back where they play Matt Doherty and Emerson Royal.”

“Are they good enough to take them to the next level? I think there are areas where Antonio Conte would definitely like to strengthen in the summer.”

Do you think that they have been missing a number 10 since Christian Eriksen was sold to Inter Milan?

“Yeah, yeah. I think that the way they play at the moment, the midfield that they have, Højberg, Bentancur, or if it’s Winks or whoever is kept, whoever is in there, they miss that creativity.”

“So if they had that number 10 in the likes of Eriksen or Dybala, one of these types of players, they can change the way that they play. I think it would be a better team.”

And should they sell Pierre-Emile Højberg and Steven Bergwijn?

“That’s the thing about Højberg is weird, because I think he’s kind of Conte’s go-to midfielder. He plays week in and week out, plays at a high level, I mean, he’s not scoring many goals or getting you a lot of assists, but he’s there to be combative to win the ball back.”

“And as far as Bergwijn is considered I really like him as a player. I think he suits Antonio Conte’s style of play. Counterattack, he’s got pace, he’s got skill and ability. I think he just has to be really patient and wait for his opportunity. Kulusevski comes on and that doesn’t help him, so you wonder if he’s sitting there and thinking – ‘I need to move team to get regular football’.”


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