Aston Villa loanee Ritchie De Laet is enjoying a stellar season with Melbourne City, bagging seven goals in the Australian league.
Yet despite his impressive form out on loan, Villa must permanently cut ties with the 30-year-old this summer.
Although it would be a low-risk proposition to extend his contract, Villa must surely be targeting players of a higher quality.
Considering their historic winning run, and a potential charge to promotion this season, it seems unlikely De Laet will play much of a role in the top flight next season — or in the Championship for that matter.
With only 14 Villa appearances to his name, De Laet’s career at the Championship club has been unfortunately rocked by injuries, and there is no guarantee that those injury problems will not just get worse over the upcoming years.
Whilst it is heartening to see the 30-year-old flourishing in a new environment in Australia, Aston Villa must be wary of bringing De Laet back next season, and his departure from Villa Park will be in the club’s best interest.