DOUGIE Freedman would welcome back fellow Scot Alan Hutton with open arms next season – but admits the chances of securing the defender on a longer loan deal may be remote.
The Scotland international has been a solid performer since arriving from Aston Villa in February, so much so that his stay at the Reebok was extended until the end of the season recently.
In seven matches for the Whites, Hutton has tasted defeat just once – a 2-0 home loss to Brighton.
And as well as adding experience to the Wanderers back line, the 29-year-old has provided a supply line from wide going forward, setting up the opening goal at Doncaster in midweek for Neil Danns.
Naturally, Freedman has been delighted with the full-back’s form.
But he knows getting the former Rangers and Tottenham man to drop down to the Championship again next season is a long shot.
His situation of being frozen out at Villa Park meant this season, Hutton just wanted to get back playing regular first-team football.
However, he is likely to search for a permanent move away from the Villains in the summer.
The Wanderers boss said: “I feel he has done terrifically well. He looks settled and he is getting better as the games go.
“But Premier League wages are getting so huge that you are going to have to do deals, deals are going to have to be sponsored by Premier League players.
“You are going to have to persuade a Premier League player to come and run around on a Saturday afternoon.
“It seems strange they would say ‘no’ to an offer like that but a few do that.
“To find a player who you can do a deal with, who will come and run around as well as being ‘not bad’ is very hard.
“I would like next season for us not to use the loan market to get results.
“I would like to make sure we get players in at the beginning of the season and we recruit the right types.
“And if we are going to do an Alan Hutton, it will be for the whole season so we will get a settled team.
“I am hoping Alan’s expectations of himself will be to go and play in the Premier League.
“If that’s not the case at Villa, or at another Premier League club if he gets sold, and he wants to come back and play here, of course we would take him back.”