By Daniel Feliciano

31st May, 2023 | 2:58pm

Aston Villa could put faith in Kaine Kesler Hayden after Ashley Young exit confirmed

Aston Villa have confirmed that they will not be renewing the contract of club legend Ashley Young this summer and he will leave the club.

The 37-year-old was a regular in the team under Unai Emery this season, but after talks at the end of the season it’s been decided that the veteran will leave the club at the end of his contract.

An official statement (31 May) gave thanks to everything he has offered, but now all eyes must turn to how they replace him in the squad for the upcoming season.

At left-back the club are well stocked in the first-team with both Lucas Digne and Alex Moreno in the plans of Emery for the new season, with plenty of experience and quality.

On the right Matty Cash has established himself as one of the best in the division and first-choice at Villa Park when he’s fit, but there is a lack of cover for him.

Young had done that role well in the last two seasons, but now it could be the chance for young academy starlet Kaine Kesler Hayden to step up and start to cement himself as a first-team option.

The club have been an excellent place for young players to develop in recent years, with the likes of Cameron Archer, the Ramsey brothers, Tim Iroegbunam and more shining since coming through the academy.

But the club haven’t had many academy defenders come through the ranks recently, and Hayden is a fantastic young prospect.

He was captain of the 2020/21 academy side that won the FA Youth Cup, and spent the first half of the most recent campaign on loan at Huddersfield in the Championship before he was recalled after they signed a more experienced option.

During that spell at the club he made 15 appearances and showed he is ready for more regular football. Villa Park could be the perfect place to get it.

With European football pending next season, Emery may look to enter the transfer market for a more experienced option. But Hayden could save the club millions of pounds by taking an opportunity to step up.

The club would be smart to give him that opportunity during pre-season at least before making a big decision, and fans would love to see it.

In other Aston Villa news, Stan Collymore is wrong about letting this player leave the club in the summer.