Aston Villa have confirmed that youngster Kaine Kesler Hayden has joined Swindon Town on a season-long loan deal.
The 18-year-old impressed as he led his side to the FA Youth Cup last season as captain, and there was perhaps an argument in favour of keeping him around this season to fill in as depth at right-back.
However, as per the club’s official site, he has now joined Swindon for the upcoming campaign, while Villa have an option included in the deal to recall him in January.
Kesler Hayden’s long-term future at Villa is already secure having signed a five-year contract earlier this summer, and so it’s hoped that he benefits from this experience and returns a better player ready to push for a prominent role in the senior squad moving forward.
For Dean Smith in the more short-term picture though, Matty Cash will undoubtedly remain his first-choice in that role this season when fit and available for selection, and after returning from his loan spell at Strasbourg last season, Frederic Guilbert could now stick around this year to offer competition and depth.
Time will tell if that’s the case as there is still a possibility that the Frenchman moves on if he’s eager for regular playing time, and so Villa may well need to replace him before the transfer window closes.
Nevertheless, the decision to allow Kesler Hayden to move on temporarily would suggest that Guilbert could be Cash’s main competition for a starting berth this season, and so it will be interesting to see if he does enough to put pressure on him moving forward.