Dean Smith: Aston Villa defender Matt Targett can keep on improving

Villa boss Dean Smith has backed Matt Targett to keep getting better after the left-back enjoyed a breakthrough Premier League season.

Matt Targett of Aston Villa passes the ball ahead of Leander Dendoncker of Wolverhampton Wanderers. (AMA)
Matt Targett of Aston Villa passes the ball ahead of Leander Dendoncker of Wolverhampton Wanderers. (AMA)

Targett, who joined Villa in a £14million deal two summers ago, rebounded from an inconsistent debut campaign to become the only outfield player to start every league game last term.

His excellent performances were recognised by his team-mates, who voted him players’ player of the season.

Smith expects the 25-year-old to be among those players who will kick on again as Villa now look to challenge in the top half of the division.

He said: “We knew the talent that people like Matt Targett had when we brought them in.

“We wanted him to make him more robust, more endurance-based and he’s certainly become that type of player.

“I think players’ player of the year is one of the best awards you can win because it’s from the people in that dressing room. He has consistently got better and better.

“There is loads more to come from him, there is a lot more he can improve, especially around that endurance but technically he’s a really top player.”

Goalkeeper Emiliano Martinez, who won supporters’ player of the season after keeping 15 clean sheets to tie a club Premier League record, made his senior debut for Argentina in Thursday night’s 1-1 draw with Chile.

Posting on social media, Martinez wrote: “Match with a bitter taste of not being able to win it, but proud of fulfilling a dream since the age of five.”

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