With a strong squad at his disposal, Dean Smith made changes to his Aston Villa side against Chelsea, and Kortney Hause was one of those who made the most of his chance.
There were nine changes in total to the Villa side that started against Everton, with Matty Cash and Axel Tuanzebe the only two to stay in the XI.
While the likes of Cameron Archer and Morgan Sanson also made positive impacts, it was Hause who enjoyed an impressive outing against a dangerous Chelsea attack, which even saw him contain Romelu Lukaku after the Belgian’s introduction in the second half.
Hause, 26, joined us in January 2019 and has since gone on to make 49 appearances for the club. While injury troubles have also contributed to his lack of playing time, the fierce level of competition in defence has certainly made it difficult for him to force his way into Smith’s preferred XI.
However, as Villa begin to play with a three-man defence in a 3-5-2 system in recent weeks, that opens up an opportunity for Hause, along with Axel Tuanzebe, to partner Tyrone Mings and Ezri Konsa rather than continually battle to try and displace one or the other in the side.
Tuanzebe has been given the nod in the last two games when we’ve used that formation, but with Man Utd away this weekend, a game in which he’s ineligible to face his parent club, Hause has surely put his hat in the ring to be involved, such was the impressive nature of his performance against Chelsea.
There was a standout moment in the second half where he produced a perfectly timed tackle to deny Lukaku a clear goalscoring opportunity, and while that in itself earned Hause rave reviews from Villa fans, he barely put a foot wrong all game in a solid display.
In turn, time will tell if was enough to convince Smith to keep him in the side for the weekend trip to Old Trafford, but if that isn’t the case, Hause is undoubtedly knocking on the door to be more involved moving forward. With his current contract set to expire next summer, albeit Villa have an option to extend his deal for another 12 months, it could be a defining period in his time at the club.