Frederic Guilbert joined Racing Strasbourg on a season-long loan in January and made his league debut in Sunday’s 2-1 win over FC Metz, playing a full 90 minutes and registering an assist.
The 26-year-old opted to leave Aston Villa in the winter transfer window after struggling for playing time under Dean Smith due to Matty Cash’s fine form at right-back.
Guilbert believes he made the right decision for the sake of his career, admitting it had been a “difficult six months” in the Midlands after he returned from a loan spell at SM Caen.
The Frenchman told La Presse De La Manche: “I had a difficult last six months at Aston Villa. I was training but I was still on the bench. I had only one desire, and that was to get on the field. At Strasbourg, I have the opportunity to play so I want to show what I’m capable of. I’m starving.
Guilbert made only two appearances for Villa this season (Transfermarkt) and spent the majority of the campaign as an unused substitute or out of the matchday squad entirely.
He added: “Strasbourg was the right club to regain playing time. Here, there are really good players. We can do great things with the group. We have ambitions. I want to help the club achieve its goals.”
Guilbert has made two appearances for the Ligue 1 side (Transfermarkt), losing in the Coup De France to Montpellier on February 10 and beating Metz four days later.
Ironically, he may have had a chance of playing for Villa with Cash suffering a hamstring injury that will keep him out of action for a number of weeks, but Guilbert should focus on doing well back in France.
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Guilbert put his career first and sought playing time away from Villa, so fans will be hoping the experience does him good and he can fight for a place next season.