Glenn Whelan is a player that has divided opinion amongst Aston Villa supporters since joining the club.
It’s clear to see why as well, with the midfielder proving to be ‘hit or miss’ for the majority of his time at Villa Park.
The Irishman has been a useful option to rely upon for Dean Smith this season though and has certainly played his part in Villa’s bid for a top six finish.
They are currently sat 5th in the Championship table and will be keen to retain their spot inside the top six, with just seven league games remaining of their season.
Whelan has made 28 appearances in their league campaign this season, which is impressive, especially given that competition for a starting spot in Smith’s side is fiercely competitive.
But his experience is valuable to their promotion bid this season and he’ll be hoping to return to the top-flight with the Villans this year.
However, his future could be up in the air, especially if Villa are to return to the Premier League.
We look at THREE potential paths his career could take at the conclusion of this year’s league campaign.
This seems the most likely situation for Whelan, who is unlikely to find regular game time in Smith’s side next season.
The Villa boss could certainly benefit from having better quality midfielder sin his ranks and Whelan could be shifted on to make way for a new arrival at Villa Park.
Fight for his place
It seems unlikely that this will be possible, especially if Villa are to revamp their squad ahead of a return to the top-flight.
But Whelan has played in the Premier League before and knows what is required to keep teams in the division, having experienced it previously with the likes of Stoke City.
Move into coaching
This certainly shouldn’t be ruled out.
Whelan has a considerable amount of experience under his belt in the professional game and would be a useful addition to any coaching setup.
It remains to be seen as to whether Villa would offer him a role at the club, but he’s definitely more than capable of taking the step into coaching, if he feels his playing days are numbered.