Transfer news: Alan Hutton's situation at Aston Villa bemuses Gordon Strachan
Scotland coach Gordon Strachan is baffled that Alan Hutton is not getting regular game time at a Premier League level.
Last Updated: 15/11/13 8:15pm
The 28-year-old full-back finds himself frozen out at Aston Villa, with there no indication that he will be drafted back into Paul Lambert's plans any time soon.
Hutton has taken in loan spells at Nottingham Forest and Real Mallorca in an effort to get minutes under his belt, but failed to secure a permanent switch over the summer.
His lack of action has not affected his international standing, though, with Strachan of the opinion that the former Rangers and Tottenham Hotspur man is among the best attacking right-backs in the business.
He said in the Birmingham Mail: "He's been brilliant. It's a mystery of football, how he's not getting a game somewhere.
"I look at other games in the Premier League, look at right-backs and go, 'He's better than them'.
"I just think the club game misses his marauding runs.
"It's very strange he's not playing Premier League football because the games he's played for us recently have been outstanding.
"It must be hard for him to look over at the first-team training at Villa. I'm sure Paul's not doing that deliberately. There's sometimes only a certain amount of players you want to work with.
"Some players say they've been confined to the reserves when that's not really the case.
"It may just be the manager wants to work with 16 players and he's No.20, so it's not a case of being banished."
The January transfer window will re-open the exit door for Hutton, but Strachan is reluctant to offer advice when it comes to his next move.
He added: "Whatever he's doing, he's keeping himself in good nick. Most players need games but he seems to be able to produce a performance.
"If he keeps playing like he has for us I see no reason for him to find a club!
"For his own sake he'd probably enjoy playing every week, but I can't tell him to go find a club in January because he plays fantastic for us."