In arguably a surprise transfer deadline day switch, James Bree has joined Ipswich Town on loan for the remainder of the season.
The 21 year old, highly regarded prior to his switch to Villa from Barnsley, has struggled for game-time in B6.
Despite having joined during the January window of 2017, Bree has made just 15 senior appearances, having been recruited by then manager Steve Bruce.
Whilst Bree remains highly regarded, this loan move comes at a time when Villa’s right back spot remains up for grabs. It remains to be seen whether Smith is exploring other options, or feels that Bree would benefit from more senior football than he is willing to risk in Villa’s shaky back line at present.
This term Bree’s development this campaign has been hampered by a long injury layoff and being played out of position at centre-half prior to the club being able to recall Tommy Elphick to deputise.