Journalist John Percy has confirmed that Aston Villa are set to begin talks with Matty Cash later this month about extending the defender's contract.
What is Percy's latest update on Cash?
However, it seems that Villa have already been suitably impressed, and they appear ready to offer him an improved deal. That is according to Percy, who announced the club's plan on Twitter on Wednesday evening.
He tweeted: "#avfc to open talks with Matty Cash over an improved new contract later this month, less than 12 months after he signed from #nffc. Has been a revelation this season for Villa, with a 59% tackle success rate."
How has Cash fared this season?
Cash has been a fine addition to Dean Smith's squad, starting 23 league games in 2020/21.
As per WhoScored, he has made 52 interceptions in the Premier League this year - nine more than any of his teammates.
Percy also alludes to Cash's tackling, which has been exemplary. The 23-year-old has made 61 successful tackles in the top-flight. His fellow full-back Matt Targett (62) is the only Villa player who has managed more.
Are Villa now being smarter with their transfer dealings?
Villa's stance on Cash is just the latest example of a much-improved transfer policy over the past 12 months. Cash has been a standout performer for the side, and is now expected to be rewarded appropriately.
He is not the only success story at Villa Park this term. The club also signed Emiliano Martinez and Ollie Watkins last summer, and the pair have had major impacts at opposite ends of the pitch.
Meanwhile, Watkins has been firing in the goals for the team, scoring 11 times in his maiden Premier League campaign.
The club seem to be spotting talent more consistently now, and that is paying off on the pitch, with the side currently inside the top half.
Why are they being smarter?
It is hard to overlook the decision of Wes Edens and Nassef Sawiris to sack Jesus Garcia Pitrarch, otherwise known as Suso, last July.
Suso had been Villa's sporting director since 2018, and was heavily involved in the club's recruitment.
He made some odd signings, though. This included bringing in Club Brugge duo Wesley and Marvelous Nakamba. Wesley scored just five goals in 21 league matches last season before suffering a serious knee injury, whilst Nakamba has only featured in nine league games this year and appears to be a peripheral figure in the squad.
Since Suso departed, Villa's success rate with signings has been much better, signalling that Edens and Sawiris made the right call to fire him in 2020.
What is Cash's potential?
Cash does not turn 24 until August, suggesting that he has a long career ahead of him. Like most players, he is likely to have hopes of playing for his country one day.
Unfortunately for him, the England right-back berth is arguably the trickiest position to break into right now.
Last month, Gareth Southgate picked Kyle Walker, Kieran Trippier and Reece James as his three options for this position, and left out Liverpool's Trent Alexander-Arnold.
This indicates that Cash is some way down the pecking order for now, and is very unlikely to make the squad for this summer's Euros.
Cash was name-checked by Southgate when the England boss named his latest squad, though, signalling that Villa's right back is in his thoughts as a possible alternative down the line.
This should give Cash belief that he can make an impact at international level, and may get the opportunity in the future to replicate his club form for the Three Lions.News Now - Sport News