By Villa News Speaking to Alan Hutton

15th Mar, 2023 | 8:10am

Unai Emery baffles BBC pundit with Alex Moreno decision in Aston Villa 1-1 v West Ham United

We’re delighted to welcome former Aston Villa full-back Alan Hutton as our exclusive columnist. Each week he’ll be giving his views on the biggest talking points at Villa Park

Alan Hutton is struggling to understand why Unai Emery took Alex Moreno off and replaced him with Lucas Digne as Aston Villa drew 1-1 at West Ham on Sunday.

Moreno, 29, had played brilliantly, setting up Ollie Watkins’ first-half goal, before being substituted off in the 64th minute to be replaced by Digne.

Villa’s performance seemed to dip after the 29-year-old Frenchman entered the fray.

Moreno joined Villa from Real Betis in January but has only played 90 minutes for the West Midlands giants on one occasion in the Premier League, which came in the 1-0 win over Southampton on 21 January.

He’s found himself in and out of Emery’s starting line-up, starting four times and being subbed on four times since his arrival.

Hutton believes there must be a reason and suggests that Emery is trying to get the measure of his left-back options or it’s simply a case of easing Moreno in gently.

“They do it quite a lot,” Hutton told Villa News when asked about the left-back rotation.

Emery’s always changing between Moreno and Digne and I don’t know why.

Even with Matty Cash and Ashley Young at the start as well.

Moreno was putting in great deliveries [at West Ham]. The ball for the goal was outstanding.

Maybe it’s a case of Emery still trying to bed him in. I know he came in during the January window but he’s maybe still looking at the future and who’s going to be the number one left-back.

He could also see Digne as being more defensively-minded, at times.

It’s swings and roundabouts right now and it seems Emery hasn’t settled on a left-back at this moment in time.”

In other Aston Villa news, Hutton has reacted to a controversial incident in the draw at West Ham.