Aston Villa's Neil Taylor has been proving doubters wrong this season

L-R Neil Taylor, Douglas Luiz, John McGinn, Conor Hourihane' Jed Steer and Wesley of Aston Villa

Neil Taylor was in and out of Aston Villa's first-team during their time in the Championship.

L-R Crystal Palace's Wilfried Zaha holds of Neil Taylor of Aston Villa

In the summer, Aston Villa fans would have been glad to see the club finally sign a left-back because they had been crying out for some competition in that area when they were in the Championship. 

Neil Taylor was the only bonafide player who could play in that position for the past two seasons, with Alan Hutton and then later on Kortney Hause also being used in that role. 

But when Villa earned promotion to the Premier League, they went out and secured the signature of Southampton defender Matt Targett, and after watching him in pre-season, many fans were backing him to start the first game of the season.

 

That didn't happen as Dean Smith opted to start Taylor at left-back as he was seemingly sending out a message that he was being loyal to the players that helped him earn promotion the season before. 

Whilst fans would have questioned Taylor starting as the first-choice, it is fai to say that the four Premier League games he has played, he has been a solid performer and he is proving doubters wrong.

Things didn't go well for him whilst representing Wales during the international break because his mistake against Azerbaijan in a Euro 2020 qualifier led to a goal.

Neil Taylor of Aston Villa during the Premier League match between Crystal Palace and Aston Villa at Selhurst Park on August 31, 2019 in London, United Kingdom.

But for his club, Taylor has arguably been producing the best form he has produced since Steve Bruce signed the Welshman during the January transfer window of 2017.

Added with that, during an EFL Cup clash against Crewe, summer signing Targett started that win against the League Two side and it is fair to say that he struggled during his time on the pitch - he was substituted because of injury before the break. 

Whilst Smith has changed his right-back in these first four matches, his decision to start with Taylor, and Targett's subsequent performance against Crewe is proving that his selection has been justified. 

The defensive errors that have been made by Villa this season have not come from him. He has come up against some direct and pacy wingers, but once again, he has held his own. The main thing is that he is not making himself being noticed too much and that sometimes is a good thing because it shows you're not doing much wrong. 

From Taylor's perspective, the challenge is for him to maintain that form because a couple of slip-ups here or there and then those in the stands at Villa Park will be calling for him to be replaced. 

Neil Taylor of Aston Villa during the Premier League match between Aston Villa and AFC Bournemouth  at Villa Park on August 17, 2019 in Birmingham, United Kingdom.

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