By Villa News Speaking to Dan Bardell

18th Apr, 2023 | 2:10pm

Kaine Kesler-Hayden situation raises questions about Aston Villa summer plans - Sky Sports journalist

We’re delighted to welcome Sky Sports and The Athletic’s Dan Bardell as our exclusive Aston Villa columnist each week he’ll be giving his views on the biggest talking points at the club…

Kaine Kesler-Hayden’s current situation at Aston Villa is an interesting turn of events after featuring prominently on loan at Huddersfield Town earlier this season, according to Dan Bardell.

The England Under-20 international saw his loan spell cut short at Huddersfield in the January transfer window despite being named in the Championship’s December team of the month and very much finding his feet at The John Smith’s Stadium.

Mark Fotheringham stated that Kesler-Hayden had been released back to Villa due to the imminent relegation battle they were about to embark on and the lack of experience the young defender possessed.

However, since returning to Villa Park, the 20-year-old is yet to feature in a first-team match-day squad and has instead been a regular starter in the Under-21s side.

What has made Kesler-Hayden’s omission from Unai Emery’s squad a little more confusing has been his lack of exposure despite the injury to Matty Cash in recent weeks.

Instead of bringing a like-for-like replacement onto the bench, Emery has selected fellow academy left-back Seb Revan to feature over the past two games against Nottingham Forest and Newcastle.

Speaking exclusively to Villa News, Bardell admitted that the lack of first-team exposure the academy graduate has been offered in Cash’s injury absence was an interesting development.

He said: “With Kaine Kesler-Hayden, I really don’t know what’s going on because he was playing really well for Huddersfield, then they cancelled the loan, he’s gone back to Villa and you would perhaps think that without Matty Cash available that Kesler-Hayden would be on the bench, but he isn’t.

“It’s an interesting one, it’s a bit of a funny point in his career now because he’s gone back to Villa and he has been nowhere near the first-team while two keepers have been being named on the bench every week.

“So we will have to wait and see what happens in the summer with him, but it doesn’t look good for him at the moment.”

The former MK Dons loanee is contracted at Villa Park until June 2026, so it remains unlikely that he will be shown the door in the summer transfer window.

However, Kesler-Hayden’s lack of first-team exposure – especially considering Cash’s injury and the youngster’s fine early-season form – remains a little bit of a mystery.

In other Aston Villa news, the club might have found the heir to James Milner after what Unai Emery did against Newcastle.