Is Gary Gardner the one player who offers Aston Villa hope for next season?

Gary Gardner

The Nottingham Forest loanee is Championship ready - unlike a few of Villa's current squad.

Aston Villa's biggest hope for next season certainly isn't in their current first-team squad. But he could be playing his football at Nottingham Forest right now.

Indeed, promising young midfielder Gary Gardner has spent another loan spell at the City Ground this season and has thereby been preparing for life in the Championship.

As such, Villa could throw the 23-year-old straight into the first team next term, providing a ready-made upgrade on their woeful midfielders from the off - without signing anyone new.

Of course, Gardner was a very promising player this season, even when he suffered injury problems.

The Nottingham Forest loanee would no doubt have done a better job in the Premier League than all of Aston Villa's current bunch.

But he was still discarded - and, if that was simply to get rid of the 23-year-old rather than prepare him for life in the Championship, Villa will probably make the same mistake against next season.

If Gardner was loaned to Forest for the right reasons - to get game time in the Championship and perhaps be shielded from the embarrassment that is Villa's current campaign - the midfielder may be the one player who offers fans hope for next season.

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