James Chester has been an outstanding performer for Aston Villa during these past three seasons.
During Aston Villa’s three seasons in the Championship, they battled hard to get out of that division and one costly road they decided to take was buying the best possible players available.
When Villa first went down, they purchased James Chester from neighbours West Brom and since then he has arguably been their best purchase and most consistent performer.
It was a shame that the 30-year-old was injured towards the back end of Villa’s promotion campaign because he has played a big part as anyone in the club making a return to the Premier League.
The manner in which Dean Smith’s side earned promotion was pretty incredible – with the standout being their 10-match winning run – a number of players were lauded for that, from loanee Tyrone Mings to Player of the Year, John McGinn.
But amongst all that, and Villa’s summer planning, Chester has seemingly become a forgotten man, but there is no doubt that the Welshman can play the most important role for Smith next season.
Whilst the Villa Park faithful will be eagerly awaiting to see the likes of Grealish and McGinn perform, as well as the big-money signing they could potentially make, Chester could quietly do his business and play a key role for Smith.
Experience and calmness will be needed in the Premier League, and whilst Smith will search for it in the transfer market amongst his admiration for the younger players, someone like Chester will be already providing that for him next season.
Chester will be hoping to get himself fit and ready for next season because if he does then there’s no doubt that he will be a silent, yet deadly performer for the club.
The likes of Jack Grealish, McGinn, Anwar El Ghazi and Conor Hourihan will be key to what happens, but on and off the field, no-one will be more important than Chester.