Despite Aston Villa's need to sign defenders in January, the Villans faithful would have been forgiven for feeling underwhelmed about the announcement that Dean Smith had brought Kortney Hause in on loan for the rest of the season.
Hause had played one league game for Wolves under Nuno Espirito Santo, and he had not played a first-team game since September in the months leading up to his switch to Villa Park.
So when Villa announced the loan deal on their official website last month, it did appear to be a slightly bizarre decision to agree an option that will allow the Championship side to make the move permanent in the summer.
And following his first start for the club, it seemed that agreeing a permanent option was completely unnecessary. Hause was extremely poor against Brentford, and given his debut had come in the 3-0 defeat at Wigan, it did look like Villa's gamble was not going to pay off.
However, while Smith's men continue to struggle for form, Hause is starting to prove why he was previously considered such a bright prospect at Wolves.
He has been one of Villa's better performers in both the defeat to West Brom and the draw with Stoke City at the weekend.
And if his turnaround continues at its current rate, it would seem that Villa's summer decision regarding whether to sign Hause permanently or not will be simple.
Villa have to make additions to their defensive ranks at the end of the campaign, especially with Tyrone Mings also only at the club on a temporary basis.
So if Hause continues to build on his recent upturn in form, then Villa should not only look to make sure that he stays beyond this season, but triggering the option in his loan should arguably be one of the first deals that the club seek to do when the window opens.
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