Marc Albrighton opens up about his Aston Villa departure and their current plight

The 26-year-old winger was released by Villa in May 2014 before joining Premier League leaders Leicester City that summer.

Leicester City winger Marc Albrighton has revealed to Sky Sports that he was told he would be offered a new contract at Aston Villa prior his departure.

Albrighton, who began his career with Villa at the age of eight, made 102 total appearances for his childhood club between 2009 and 2014, recording nine goals and 19 assists in the process.

However, after failing to push on as hoped, the Tamworth-born wide man was released following the 2013-14 campaign and soon joined Leicester on a deal until 2018.

He has since enjoyed a remarkable rise at the King Power Stadium as a key part of the side that can go 10 points clear at the top of the table with a win at home to West Ham United this weekend, and some have even tipping him for an England call-up.

His former club, meanwhile, are heading to the Championship after a miserable campaign which has seen them relegated with four games to spare and staff around Villa Park are now bracing themselves for widespread job losses as the financial hit takes its toll.

The 26-year-old appreciates that his exit two years ago was clearly for the best, but he also admits that it has been difficult watching form afar as the team he has support since a child go through such a terrible period.

"It was a shock [to leave]," Albrighton told Sky Sports. "I was led to believe I was getting a contract there. I don't know whose decision it was - manager, chairman or the chief executive. At the time, they must have thought they could have got something better.

"It's worked out for me. I've come here and got a new lease of life. It's been the best thing, to leave, as I was getting a bit complacent. I'd been there 16 years and it gets to a point where you have to go your separate ways.

"The offer was on the table here, and as soon as I found out the contract wasn't there at Villa, this was the club I wanted to be at. It's taken me on a bit of a journey.

"I have friends involved in what's going on at Villa and it's horrible to see. I feel for them and hopefully can bounce straight back up and get back to where they should be."

Albrighton has features 33 times for Leicester in the Premier League this season, scoring one goal and providing a career-high seven assists towards their title push.

Claudio Ranieri’s side are already guaranteed to be playing Champions League football next season and now need just three wins from their last five top-flight games to hold off the challenge of Tottenham Hotspur and complete one of the most incredible title wins of all-time.

"We want to achieve the best prize. Anything we do now is special," Albrighton added to Sky Sports. "It's been pretty crazy. Something just clicked last season and we performed a miracle to stay up. To be where we are now is incredible.

"I believe we have already made history with what we've achieved. It's incredible to think people were writing us off and thinking we'll go down."

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