Gary Gardner, Aston Villa fans react on Twitter to Nathan Baker's new deal

Nathan Baker and Ryan Mason

The 24-year-old centre-back has penned a new four-year contract at Villa Park.

As a somewhat polarising figure among Aston Villa fans, it is no surprise that news of Nathan Baker’s new four-year deal was received with mixed reaction on Friday afternoon.

The 24-year-old defender had been linked with a £2 million move to Burnley earlier this week [h/t Daily Mail] but, rather than head to the Championship, he now looks set to compete with fellow centre-halves Micah Richards, Ciaran Clark, Jores Okore and Philippe Senderos for minutes at the back.

"I am delighted to sign a new contract here at Villa,” Baker told the club’s official website. "I have been with the club since I was just eight-years-old so I am very happy to continue my career here. It's my home. It's my club.

"It only seems like yesterday that I was in the Academy with Tony McAndrew and the U21s with Kevin MacDonald. Now I am in the first team and it's been an exciting journey for me.”

Baker rose through the Villa ranks to earn his first-team debut in 2011 and has since made 88 appearances across all competitions for the Midlands outfit.

His claret and blue career has been an up-and-down one so far, though, having struggled to produce a consistent run of form during his first two full campaigns with the senior squad.

The former trainee started last season on the bench as a result but soon showed his promise while deputising for the ailing Ron Vlaar in the 1-0 win at Liverpool, when he put up a heroic performance alongside new signing Philippe Senderos.

However, the ex-England Under-21 international would go on to endure fitness problems of his own over the rest of the term, as reoccurring knee injuries limited him to just 13 total appearances.

New boss Tim Sherwood still must have seen enough potential to believe he warrants a place in his long-term plans but not all supporters seem to share his view.

While teammate Gary Gardner was quick to take to Twitter to congratulate his fellow academy graduate on his new deal, the claret and blue faithful were split over whether it was a good move for their team.

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