Aston Villa’s Injury List Grows
After injuries played a big part in compromising Dean Smith in Aston Villa’s start to last season, Steven Gerrard is now starting to get a taste of that frustration, with two more significant players joining Diego Carlos and Matty Cash on the sidelines.
After Villa had already lost Carlos to an a ruptured Achillies in the win against Everton at Villa Park, last week’s second win of the season against Southampton, saw Boubacar Kamara pick up a serious knee ligament injury. Early reports suggest a potential two-month absence, which would rule the midfielder out of the World Cup with France.
Ironically, Villa left-back Lucas Digne was a late call-up to join the French squad for the international break, only to then get injured when he got to the French camp. Now there’s questions marks as to whether the stress fracture he suffered will also lessen his chances of going to Qatar.
Gerrard was keen to stress there would be a “no excuse” culture at the club and it would be also perhaps be short-sighted to blame any injury situation on Villa’s current predicament.
The results haven’t been great with these players playing, so at this stage for Villa, it’s more a matter of team formation, organisation and tactics, which the Villa boss has struggled with.
There were plenty of underperforming players from last season, who still have the potential to improve the team, if Gerrard gets them in the right system and taps into their potential upside.
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Villa Squad Depth
Meanwhile, Villa does have squad depth to deal with these injuries and their more unfashionable recent transfer business will be validated in covering the current concerns.
Left-back loanee Ludwig Augustinsson will slot straight in for Digne, while Leander Dendoncker will now get more opportunities with Kamara’s injury, as will Douglas Luiz, who Villa resisted multiple bids between £20m and £25m for from Arsenal on transfer deadline day.
The fact Villa have internationals as replacements is comforting and further indication that Villa’s immediate progress will not be thwarted by a handful of injuries. There are other factors that it hinges on.