Martin O’Neill has praised the "big strides" made by winger Gabriel Agbonlahor this season as he prepares to sign a new three-year contract.
Agbonlahor had been given only limited first team chances before O’Neill’s arrival in the summer but he has started all but one of Villa’s games this season.
The England Under-21 player only signed a new deal 12 months ago but his form has earned him an improved contract which will keep him at Villa Park until the summer of 2010.
O’Neill said: "With a little bit of luck, Gabby’s new contract should be sorted out some time this week and we are all delighted with him. I think if you ask him he would have been maybe happy to play 10 to 12 times this season with a few more substitute appearances on top of that.
"But he took his chance, has done excellently for us and he would probably be my choice as Villa’s player of the year."
O’Neill is also hoping to tie up new deals for midfielder Gavin McCann and central defender Olof Mellberg in the next fortnight although he will not take anything for granted until they both sign on the dotted line.
Mellberg has already stated his desire to stay at Villa but McCann has been unwilling to talk about a new contract. O’Neill said: "Until I speak to the agents to see what is happening, anything can crop up. I wouldn’t be complacent about anything."
O’Neill, who has again been linked with Liverpool striker Craig Bellamy as a possible summer signing, insists he wants to sort out the futures of players already at Villa before looking to strengthen.
He said: "I’ve got a few things to get sorted out. I’ve got two players coming out of contract quite soon, some have a year to run. I’ve all those things to get organised.
"I’d like to sort out our boys already here first before I go any further with anything else - which I intend to do over the next fortnight."