The Scotland international's international success kept him at Villa Park.
But when Paul Lambert arrived his time with Villa became strained. He ended up spending most of his time out on loan – with the likes of Nottingham Forest, Mallorca and Bolton Wanderers.
But throughout his troubles at Villa he remained in the Scotland set-up and he has admitted to the Daily Mail this week that he might have left Villa – were it not for international football:
“Playing for Scotland was the one thing which kept me on track.
“If I had been a player who was not with Scotland, then I could easily have gone the other way.
“I could easily have thrown in the towel and said; ‘Enough is enough’.
“I could have slipped down, left Villa and thought that the international scene wasn’t happening anymore because I wasn’t in the frame. Like a flick of a switch, you can go from high to low.”
Hutton is still at the club five years on and is under contract with the club until the end of next season.
The 31-year-old, who has Championship experience with Forest and Bolton, is likely to be one of the players who sticks around at Villa Park when they head to the Championship next season.
Hutton, who has 49 caps for Scotland, may not be the most talented player but Villa will need players like Hutton when the going gets tough in the second-tier of English football next season.