Brighton have completed a half season loan deal for Aston Villa midfielder Gary Gardner.
The central midfielder, brother of West Brom’s Craig Gardner, has been on the fringes of the Villa first time for the last three seasons and, despite his early career billing as a wonder-kid, it was feared last season that he would be released. Gardner eventually signed a new deal at Villa and would have been hoping to get some Premier League games under his belt but has now moved to The Amex stadium until January.
Gardner joins fellow Villa utility player Joe Bennett, who joined Brighton on a season long loan deal late last week, in Sami Hyypia’s new look squad. His first team experience has been limited so far, this is partly due to the fact that he spent a lot of time around the Villa team without really getting played, mostly due to long term injuries blighting him. He has only managed 18 appearances for Villa and eight appearances, four for Coventry scoring once and four for Sheffield Wednesday, in the Football League.
Gardner, if given enough games, could begin to unlock that early potential that saw Villa fight to keep him a secret for so long and the player himself has already shown in the games that he has played that he has the sufficient technical ability to become a quality midfielder. At 22 he is desperate for games however the prospect of working with a Premier League legend such as Roy Keane at Villa is something he had said he was looking forward to. It does seem that Gardner wants to test himself in a good side and Brighton certainly represent a positive step in his so far limited career.