Leandro Bacuna admits his Aston Villa future was in doubt under Paul Lambert

The versatile Dutchman has become a regular fixture at right-back in Tim Sherwood's side over recent months.

Aston Villa’s Leandro Bacuna has admitted to the Express & Star that he was considering his future at the club earlier this season under Paul Lambert.

Bacuna, 23, signed for Villa from FC Groningen in June 2013 for around £3 million, before going on to score five goals in 38 total appearances during his first campaign in the Midlands.

However, despite earning impressive reviews, the versatile Dutchman struggled to break into the since-departed Lambert’s side over the first half of this term, earning just seven Premier League outings for a total of 184 minutes.

His lack of action even prompted the former Under-21 international and his agent to discuss a potential future elsewhere over the winter, but the subsequent arrival of new boss Tim Sherwood has led to a significant change in fortunes.

Having made the right-back slot his own since mid-March, Bacuna has now started 11 of the past 12 matches, recording a team-leading five assists in the process, while big strides forward with his defensive work.

He is now likely to be in the starting line-up come Saturday afternoon’s FA Cup final against Arsenal at Wembley – something which he could never have envisaged happening under Lambert’s stewardship.

“I wasn’t playing so I was speaking to my agent saying ‘what next, what do I need to do?’” said Bacuna. “It wasn’t going well for us, as a team, so it was a case of waiting to see if a new manager came in and there would be a new start.

“The gaffer came in and it changed for me, I got some more minutes.”

Bacuna also looks set to have the unenviable task of marking Alexis Sanchez on the weekend but, despite the Chilean’s 24 goals in all competitions this season, Villa’s converted midfielder is in confident mood.

“I know it’s going to be a tough test against Alexis Sanchez, I know he is skilful so it will be hard to play against him,” he added. “But I am not afraid.”

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