Aston Villa squad numbers revealed - more good news for the 'bomb squad'?

Former outcasts Darren Bent, Charles N'Zogbia and Alan Hutton all look to be back in the fold at Aston Villa after Paul Lambert's change of heart.

Aston Villa’s squad numbers for the coming season have been revealed and, while one wouldn’t otherwise read too much into the list, it does look like good news for three names at least.

Darren Bent, Alan Hutton and Charles N’Zogbia all looked to be heading for the exit door at Villa this summer but, after being handed a second chance to impress in pre-season, all have been given respectable numbers for the coming campaign.

Having once made up the core of the infamous ‘bomb squad’ – the name given to the overpaid and underperforming members of the Villa squad deemed surplus to requirements under Paul Lambert, it’s somewhat of a remarkable turnaround.

Dropped from the side upon Lambert’s appointment in 2012, Bent was handed the number 39 shirt for the following campaign, before joining Fulham on a season-long loan, but his recent return to the setup has seen him bestowed with the more reasonable number 19.

N’Zogbia, meanwhile, wasn’t even given a squad number last season after damaging his Achilles tendon during the summer break, with various fitness setbacks seeing him fail to make a single appearance in 2013-14.

His form over the past few weeks, however, means he claims the number 28 shirt, which, although not the heralded number 10 he owned in 2012-13, should be seen as somewhat of a more positive sign going forward.

The same was also true for Alan Hutton, who hasn’t worn a Villa kit in a first-team game since Lambert’s arrival, being sent out on loan spells to Nottingham Forest, Real Mallorca and Bolton Wanderers, in an attempt to lessen the blow of his £30,000-per-week wages.

However, the Scottish international has so far proved one of the revelations of the club’s pre-season and, after taking on the number 21, could be in line to start at right-back for the club’s Premier League opener against Stoke.

The other interesting point to note is that the number nine shirt has been left open for the moment, but it would be tenuous at best to suggest that means Villa are still in the market for another goalscorer.

Whether Bent, N'Zogbia and Hutton are just back in the fold through sheer desperation is open to debate, considering the current financial situation at the club, but it does seem that all three are set to for surprise returns in 2014-15.

2014-15 squad list:

1 Brad Guzan

2 Nathan Baker

3 Joe Bennett

4 Ron Vlaar

5 Jores Okore

6 Ciaran Clark

7 Leandro Bacuna

8 Karim El Ahmadi

10 Andreas Weimann

11 Gabby Agbonlahor

12 Joe Cole

13 Jed Steer

14 Philippe Senderos

15 Ashley Westwood

16 Fabian Delph

17 Chris Herd

18 Kieran Richardson

19 Darren Bent

20 Christian Benteke

21 Alan Hutton

22 Gary Gardner

24 Aleksandar Tonev

27 Libor Kozak

28 Charles N’Zogbia

31 Shay Given

32 Janoi Donacien

34 Matt Lowton

35 Enda Stevens

36 Daniel Johnson

37 Callum Robinson

38 Graham Burke

40 Jack Grealish

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