Aston Villa have been in search of a real sturdy right-back for years. Before Matty Cash arrived, the likes of Alan Hutton, Ahmed El Mohamady, Freddy Guilbert, Richie De Laet and James Bree were all showing up in that position in the past 4/5 years. Last year, Guilbert seemed to nail down the position for himself, however, Dean Smith has gone for an even better upgrade and snatched Matty Cash from the hands of Nottingham Forrest.
What makes Matty Cash effective?
Matty Cash is a right-back, playing for Aston Villa, however, his career did not start in that position. He originally started as a winger for Forrest. He was promising without fulfilling his potential. This season, however, Cash has raked up the plaudits and rightly so. With his energetic performances, taking as much care defensively as he does offensively, an England call up may be on the horizon for the former winger.
This season, Cash has ranked 5th in the Premier League for interceptions per 90 with 2.3. More defensive stats include ranking 15th for tackles per 90 with 2.6. Whilst not incredible, it’s sturdy stats for a non-natural right-back. The most impressive thing about Cash is his work-rate and ability to be in a crossing position one minute, and then be back defending the counter-attack. If Villa weren’t so unfortunate with finishing, Cash could have raked up a good few assists with his laser-pointed crossing. Although, the lack of a real target man/ ariel presence for Villa up top has taken away from that.
Instead, Cash has found a common link up with Grealish and Targett, finding the other flank with long balls 2.3 times accurately per game. Whilst typical for some full-backs, it shows the ability to follow suit to Villas style of play. They are very reliant on the left-hand side, with either Grealish and Targett linking up, or El Ghazi and Targett, and Cash being able to switch the play as well as bomb forward and help get crosses in is a huge tool to have in his kit. With all of this and more to come hopefully in his locker, Villa have a full-back for years to come and a huge steal. It will be interesting to see how Cash develops.
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