Steven Gerrard Makes Two Key Changes to First XI, and Gives His Thoughts on Carlos Injury

Gerrard Gives his thoughts on Diego Carlos Injury

By Oscar Webster

After losing marquee signing Diego Carlos through injury for what could be the majority of the season, Steven Gerrard sat down with the press ahead of the trip to Crystal Palace, to put a positive spin on the situation and detail Aston Villa’s plan of action to address the injury.

“It’s certainly a blow to lose a player of his importance,” said Gerrard, confirming that Carlos had surgery the previous day and stressing it was “important that we look forward and try to be positive.”

The big question of course was whether Villa would seek to bring in another centre-back with less then two weeks of the transfer window to go?

“It’s something that we’re analysing now. We’re having talks behind the scenes to decide what we do,” reflected the Villa boss.

“I don’t think there’s an urgent need. We’ve still got three fully-fit centre halves that are ready to go, we’ve got Kortney Hause that’s just joined the group and is back in full training, and we’ve got some fantastic young kids that are brewing in the background as well.”

While the press are desperately trying to link the club with any centre-back they can, judging from Gerrard’s words, its not something they are going to throw caution to the wind about. After all, Villa would have to find a centre-back better than what they have, and they’d be very wary that since Carlos was bought for the here and now, they have lost a good chunk of his £26m transfer with no return.

Gerrard was supportive of his vice-captain, stressing he wanted to keep the Brazilian involved on match days, even if he couldn’t play.

“We’ll give him all the support he needs; he still has a part to play.” said Gerrard. “I want him to be involved in the dressing room and to show his leadership skills.” 

Since Carlos isn’t a fluent English speaker, so it seems that the gesture is more to help Carlos’s mindset in his recovery than to have any big impact on the team.

Overall Transfer Window Thoughts

Gerrard also briefly touched upon Villa’s business this window; singing the praises of new boy Boubacar Kamara, as well as returning loanees Phillippe Coutinho and Robin Olsen. The boss hinted that there may be a little more action in this window.

“I’m extremely happy, I’ve had fantastic support from above, we are always searching to be better.” proclaimed Gerrard. “There’s still time in the window to shape our squad.”

When asked if Emiliano Buendia would be starting against Palace at Selhurst Park, Gerrard seemed to go full Gareth Southgate with his response.

“Did you not notice Leon Bailey’s performance when he came off the bench?” Gerrard shot back, before finally going on to praise the Argentine midfielder.

“Emi has been fantastic since the first day of pre-season, we are delighted with him and he is pushing for a start.”

Villa face a Crystal Palace side that performed well at Anfield this week which saw them unlucky not to come away with all three points. The squad will look to earn their first points away from home this season in the second consecutive clash between two all-time Premier League midfield greats turned managers.

Starting Line-up

Despite trying to play cryptic in the press conference, Gerrard did select Buendia ahead of Philippe Coutinho, with Leon Bailey coming in for Danny Ings. In the big defensive decision, Ezri Konsa came in as Carlos’s replacement.

First XI: Martinez, Cash, Konsa, Mings, Digne, McGinn (c), Kamara, Ramsay, Bailey, Watkins, Buendia



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