Aston Villa would be foolish not to consider Hearts boss Robbie Neilson for managerial vacancy

Aston Villa

The 35-year-old has done a fantastic job with the Scottish Premiership side.

Aston Villa's relegation from the Premier League could finally be confirmed next week following their emphatic 4-0 home defeat to Chelsea on Saturday. 

Despite the defeat to the Blues seeing them move one step closer to the Championship however, the biggest news from Villa Park appears to have come from the club's new director David Bernstein who suggested that the man the Villains board want to replace former boss Remi Garde must have experience managing in the top two tiers of English football (via Daily Mail).

Should the Midlands side continue to pursue someone with that experience, they will certainly have several excellent managers to potentially pick from - the likes of Nigel Pearson, David Moyes and Brendan Rodgers are just three of the names that would meet that criteria and are currently out of work - but they will also be overlooking a manager that would arguably be perfect for them currently, Hearts boss Robbie Neilson.

The 35-year-old was given the job at Tynecastle despite having no previous experience, but has shown in his brief career in the dugout that he has a huge amount of ability.

Despite being in a Scottish Championship division that also included Rangers and Hibernian for his first season, he led the side to a 20 game unbeaten run at the start of the campaign and won the title by 21 points to take the team back to the top flight at the first attempt - something that is probably all that long-suffering Villa fans can dream about right now. 

And now back in the Scottish Premiership, Hearts look set to secure third spot in the table this term - as they currently sit 11 points behind Aberdeen and 12 ahead of Motherwell - which would mean earning a spot in the Europa League first qualifying round for next season, something that seems incredible given that they were in administration until shortly after Neilson had been given the job.

While getting Villa into Europe in his second season would be an unrealistic target for the former Leicester City defender, he clearly has the drive and motivation that Villa need from their next manager to get them back to the level a club of their stature should be at. 

There may be more impressive names on their shortlist of potential candidates but Neilson's work at Hearts proves that he could be the perfect man to take over a side that is lacking confidence following relegation, rebuild the squad and take them back to the highest level, and perhaps re-establish them as one of the main-stays in the division. 

Register for ASTON VILLA team updates

Register for HITC Sport - Daily Dispatch