Villa have been dealt a cruel blow in recent days, seeing Jordan Amavi ruled out for the rest of the season after suffering an injury whilst on international duty.
The left-back has undoubtedly been Villa’s best player of the season, and his loss is hard for Villa to take - especially considering the other options Remi Garde can now name at left-back.
Kieran Richardson and Charles N’Zogbia have both featured in that defensive role with Villa, but neither are natural defenders, whilst summer signing Jose Crespo can also play in an uncomfortable left-back position.
None of these options are particularly wise for Garde to use, and he should look at bringing in a new player in the January transfer window, and the French boss should raid his former side Lyon for a truly top class defender.
Samuel Umtiti is one of the best young defenders in the European football, and he is a player who many would believe is out of Villa’s reaches. However, Garde was the player who gave the defender his debut at Lyon as a teenager, and thanks to the Villa boss, the 22-year-old is now a consistently top performer in Ligue 1. They shared a good relationship, and Garde could use this to tempt Umtiti to Villa Park despite the club's current relegation struggles.
He started under Garde as a left-back, and although he is featuring more as a central defender nowadays, the youngster does occasionally play in his former position still.
This versatility could be vital for Villa, and would give Garde good reason for signing Umtiti as a replacement left-back.
Rather than bringing a player of his quality in who will not play when Amavi is back and ready to feature again, Umtiti could simply switch to central defence, meaning Villa will have two extremely talented and young French defenders in their back-line.
Not signing a replacement for Amavi would be a foolish move for Villa, and Garde should be doing all he can to bring Umtiti in to the Midlands club.
He would be a great short-term replacement for the left-back position, and would become an even better long-term fix for the central defence over the next decade.