Having been recalled from his loan spell at Swindon Town over the weekend, 19-year-old Aston Villa right-back Kaine Kesler could reportedly be set for a Championship move this month.
If the teenager is indeed set to join a second-tier club then Bristol City and Swansea City should be ready to pounce.
As per The Athletic, Steven Gerrard ordered the defender to be recalled after being impressed by him in Swindon’s 4-1 FA Cup defeat to Manchester City on Friday night and the Villa boss will now assess him in training.
It is understood that the teenager could be set for a role in the first-team squad as cover and competition for Matty Cash should he impress Gerrard enough.
However, Kesler could also be sent out on loan for the second half of the season, with a Championship side said to be the ideal destination to allow him to test himself at a higher level.
Should Gerrard sanction another loan move then both Bristol City and Swansea should look to land him.
The Birmingham-born defender’s spell at the County Ground was his first loan move away from Villa but he stood up well to every challenge in League Two – proving himself an asset both defensively and going forward.
According to Whoscored, Hayden averaged more dribbles per game (1.5) than any other player in the Swindon squad this term while only four players averaged more key passes (1).
His defensive display against Man City was reflective of the solidity he’s offered for Ben Garner’s side this season, averaging the joint-third most tackles (1.6), joint-fifth most interceptions (0.7), clearances (1.2), and blocks (0.3) per game among Robins players with more than five starts.
Having lost Ethan Laird this month, signing a new right-back has to be a top priority for Swansea and signing another Premier League loanee would make sense midway through the season.
Can you name which club Bristol City signed these 28 midfielders from?
With George Tanner struggling with injury issues and Danny Simpson out of favour, adding more cover on the right side of defence makes sense for Bristol City – not least because it would allow Nigel Pearson to use Ayman Benarous and Alex Scott further forward.
If Kesler’s available then the Championship pair would be foolish not to pounce, though it looks as though they’ll be waiting on Gerrard’s decision first.