Potential summer deal? Another reason Aston Villa's manager will hope Newcastle United go up

New Aston Villa manager Steve Bruce during the press conference

Newcastle United fan Steve Bruce takes his Aston Villa team to Tyneside on Monday.

Andrew Robertson celebrates scoring the third goal for Hull with manager Steve Bruce and Mohamed DiameAndrew Robertson celebrates scoring for Hull City with then manager Steve Bruce and teammate Mohamed Diame

Monday's Championship fixture between Newcastle United and Aston Villa should see Steve Bruce reunited with a player he knows very well indeed.

Bruce, the Villa manager, signed Newcastle's Mo Diame for Hull City two-and-a-half-years ago, and it's perhaps not inconceivable to think the Senegalese was also on Bruce's list at Wigan Athletic, whom the latter left shortly before Diame's arrival there in 2009.

Had Bruce taken over at Villa Park last summer, rather than early November with the damage to their season largely already inflicted, it is again fairly reasonable to assume that Diame and his agent would have had a phone call from Birmingham 6.

Bruce instead spent much of the summer contemplating his future at Hull, amid a backdrop of boardroom tension, and was powerless to keep hold of Diame - scorer of the goal which clinched the Tigers' promotion last season - once Newcastle triggered his £4.5 million release clause.

And though the Magpies are very much on course to return to the Premier League at the first time of asking, Diame will perhaps wonder what might have been when his old boss visits St James' Park next week, having struggled to make a positive impression on Tyneside.

For so long this season, Villa have perhaps lacked the brutish presence of a player like Diame, and one can't help but think they'd still be in with a shout of promotion had the stars aligned differently, and paired the 29-year-old with Bruce once more.

With any luck, Diame will find himself surplus to requirements at Newcastle next season, and Bruce - who grew up a Magpies fan - will have another reason to celebrate.

New Aston Villa manager Steve Bruce during the press conference

Do Aston Villa need a player like Diame?

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