Nicolò Zaniolo Expected to see Burnley Action for Aston Villa

Nicolò Zaniolo’s Aston Villa Debut Incoming?

“He is ready to play on Sunday,” declared Unai Emery, in his pre-Burnley press conference, before going on to more than hint that new signing Nicolò Zaniolo will play some part at Turf Moor.

Having missed out on the Europa Conference League play-off, as he isn’t eligible to play until the Group Stages, the Italian forward will certainly give Villa something different to call on.

“He is a little bit different from the strikers we have now because he can play being versatile,” said Emery.

“We are trying to add his quality offensively, his position on the pitch, playing right, playing left, playing higher and lower.”

“He is ready to play because he’s training very well,” added the Villa boss. “He has very good spirit and energy, he has power.”

In the last two games especially, Villa have been impressive as a team going forward, with Moussa Diaby integrating into the team effortlessly. But happens when the team is stifled in games though?

Jhon Duran, of course, can provide a different energy off the bench, but the 19-year-old is still raw and not to be relied on just yet.

Italian Maverick

Zaniolo though, as Emery’s words suggest, can provide a maverick quality that is perhaps now missing from the team. While losing Emi Buendia has deprived Villa of a little extra dimension and guile, the Italian could potentially compensate for that in different ways. He brings a direct and power presence, that could see him grab a game by the scruff of the neck and inject fresh impetus into Villa going forward. Bringing unpredictability to the attack through his single-mindedness.

How successful Zaniolo is at Villa will largely depend on how Emery can fuse his individual talent into the team, and temper any selfishness.

“He is training very well and hopefully on Sunday he can play,” reflected Emery. “He can show at the beginning his adaptation is going well and he can show with his performances for us.”

It maybe a surprise to see Zaniolo start against Burnley, but expect him to get at least 20 minutes for his new club.