'Magnificent' James Bree sends message to Aston Villa with Luton heroics

Aston Villa fans light up the Holte End in memory of ex Aston Villa manager Graham Taylor before the Sky Bet Championship match between Aston Villa and Preston North End at Villa Park on...

Premier League outfit Aston Villa allowed £3m forgotten man James Bree to join Championship Luton Town on loan.

James Bree of Aston Villa during the Pre-Season Friendly between AFC Telford United and Aston Villa at New Bucks Head Stadium on July 12, 2017 in Telford, England.

Maybe Aston Villa have got James Bree all wrong.

A £3 million signing from Barnsley in January 2017, the Wakefield-born defender made just 21 Championship appearances in two years for Villa with his performances at right-back proving distinctly underwhelming.

Towards the end of Steve Bruce’s ill-fated tenure, Bree even slipped to third in the pecking order behind Ahmed Elmohamady and the veteran Alan Hutton.

But, after joining Luton Town on a temporary deal, the 21-year-old appears to be enjoying a new lease of life. Bree made his home debut at Kenilworth Road during Tuesday’s 3-1 Carabao Cup victory against, ironically enough, an Ipswich Town side Bree spent time on loan at during the second half of last season.

Britt Assombalonga of Middlesbrough runs past John Terry and James Bree of Aston Villa during the Sky Bet Championship Play Off Semi Final:Second Leg match between Aston Villa and...

The youngster didn’t play in his usual right-back position, however. Instead, former West Brom assistant Graeme Jones handed Bree a chance on the right of a back three – and the manager was rewarded with arguably the defender’s best performance since his formative years at Barnsley.

In truth, Bree looked far more at home in a central role than he ever did on the flanks at Aston Villa. So this is something for Dean Smith to keep in mind.

James Bree of Aston Villain action during the Emirates FA Cup third round match between Aston Villa and Peterborough United at Villa Park on January 6, 2018 in Birmingham, England.

 

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