Aston Villa confirmed on Sunday that Frederic Guilbert was loaned out to Racing Strasbourg until the end of the season – a decision which has met with disdain from many Villa fans.

The 26-year-old has struggled for game-time under Dean Smith and told Strasbourg’s official website that he was “hungry” for first team football.

Villa are expecting Guilbert back in the Midlands once the season comes to a close, so Strasbourg won’t have an option to buy this summer. The Frenchman has made just two appearances in all competitions this season and found himself behind Matty Cash and Ahmed Elmohamady in the right-back pecking order at Villa Park.

Guilbert joined Villa from SM Caen in January and has gone on to make 31 appearances in all competitions, scoring two goals and supplying two assists. The 26-year-old was a regular his second season in England until he picked up a knee injury before football returned last June, limiting him to only two appearances from Villa’s last 10 games of the 2019/20 campaign.

Guilbert then fell further down the pecking order when Cash was signed from Nottingham Forest, so he can’t be blamed for seeking a temporary move away for more playing time. Elmohamady has been an able deputy at right-back and is out of contract in the coming months, so his expected departure could open the door to Guilbert getting more minutes next season.

These Aston Villa fans took to Twitter to lament the loan move, which one supporter described as a “stupid decision” by the club: