Aston Villa, the Premier League title contenders, have opted to recall 21-year-old defender Kaine Kesler-Hayden from his loan stint at Home Park with Plymouth Argyle.

Neil Dewsnip, Argyle’s director of football, received a call from Adam Henshall, Aston Villa’s head of emerging talent and loans, around 6.30pm, notifying him of the recall decision. Kesler-Hayden, who started in the recent 1-1 Championship draw against Huddersfield Town, will now join Aston Villa’s first-team squad.

In response to the recall, Dewsnip confirmed that Plymouth Argyle is in the process of securing a replacement for the departing defender. The announcement of Kesler-Hayden’s replacement is expected “in the near future.” Dewsnip emphasized that the recall is exclusively for Kesler-Hayden’s involvement with Aston Villa’s first team and assured that the defender won’t be heading elsewhere.

Kesler-Hayden, who made 19 starts and five substitute appearances for Argyle in the current Championship season, becomes the fourth player to exit the club since the January transfer window commenced. This follows the recalls of Finn Azaz and Luke Cundle, who returned to Villa and Wolverhampton Wanderers, respectively. Azaz was subsequently sold to Middlesbrough for a £2.5 million transfer fee. Additionally, Macaulay Gillesphey departed for Charlton Athletic in a deal of undisclosed value.

As Aston Villa’s third-placed side in the Premier League eyes the title, Kesler-Hayden’s return is expected to provide competition for right-back Matty Cash. The departure of Kesler-Hayden marks the end of his 27 appearances for Argyle since his arrival in June, and the club expressed gratitude for his contributions in an official statement released at 11:30 am. The statement also wished Kesler-Hayden the best in his future endeavors.

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