Steven Gerrard’s Bournemouth Updates
By Oscar Webster
Villa Injury Update
After the line-up was announced for Aston Villa’s final pre-season test against Ligue 1 side Rennes, there were several notable absences from the squad. Amongst those were Tyrone Mings, Emiliano Buendia and Calum Chambers.
There was speculation that the trio had played a closed doors friendly against Fulham inside, but Gerrard stated in his prematch press conference for the season opener against Bournemouth, that they were carrying slight knocks.
Despite this however, all three are fit to compete in Villa’s opening fixture this weekend.
“We’ve had a couple of niggles within the last seven days – Tyrone and Emi to name a couple, but we have a full squad available who trained yesterday,” said, Gerrard.
The Villa boss also confirmed the current status of Kortney Hause and Keinan Davis, who saw an impressive loan spell at Forest last season curtailed by injury issues.
“Kortney is not back; Keinan is back and the plan is for him to get some minutes in the U-21 game,” confirmed Gerrard.
Both players have been rumoured with moves away from the club this summer, with the former linked with relegated Watford. A transfer deal for Davis could still be possible too before the window slams shut.
As well as the largely positive injury update, Gerrard commented on the recent change in captaincy.
Gerrard on the Villa Captaincy
The decision to elect John McGinn as the man to steer the ship for the new season, has raised some eyebrows amongst fans, but the gaffer asserted the press that the midfielder is the right man for the job.
“I think John McGinn is universally respected,” said Gerrard. “He’s been around the club for a long time, the fans adore him, everyone around Bodymoor Heath and Villa Park has major respect for John.”
Some Villa fans may have been left worried about the morale of Tyrone Mings after being stripped of all captaincy duties, as the England international was not picked as one of Gerrard’s vice-captains. However, a noble social media post from the centre back was respectful of the decision.
“I think it’s been really smooth, and I think that’s credit to Tyrone’s reaction,” added Gerrard.
“I spoke to Tyrone first before I spoke to anyone else, I gave him my reasons and some of those will remain private, I think that’s fair.”
With a virtually fully fit Villa side coming up against a Bournemouth team weakened by injury and lacking in new signings, the potential to kick-start the season with three points is very much in the offing.