Why Aston Villa shouldn't stop at John Souttar if they are to make Hearts raid

John Souttar in action for Dundee United

Souttar has been linked with a move to Aston Villa in January.

Aston Villa should not stop at John Souttar if they are to raid Heart of the Midlothian next month.

Reports this autumn have linked the Villans with a move for the 20-year-old centre-back (Scottish Sun), but Souttar is not the only Hearts player that could do a job for Steve Bruce's side.

Villa were rocked earlier in the campaign when Ritchie de Laet, a £2.5 million capture from Leicester City only weeks beforehand, was ruled out until the summer through injury.

Aston Villa's Ritchie De Laet (L) is substituted after picking up an injury

And though Alan Hutton has filled in meanwhile, the Scot's contract is up in June and it is unclear at this stage if he is to be offered a renewal.

It would be wise, therefore, for Villa to assess their right-back options ahead of the coming transfer windows and since they are already (reportedly) considering Hearts as a talent source, why not look at Callum Paterson, too?

Paterson has excelled for the Jambos this season, and is said to have caught the eye of Scottish champions Celtic - while Derby boss Steve McClaren is another admirer, having watched the 22-year-old against Rangers last week.

Derby County Manager Steve McClaren

With Paterson's contract up in the summer - and a move to England at the forefront of his plans - Villa should seize the opportunity and thrash out a deal in January, even if it is only a pre-contract agreement.

Having already succeeded Hutton at international level, could Paterson repeat the trick at Villa Park?

Heart of Midlothian's Callum Paterson celebrates scoring their first goal

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