Bertrand Traore has reportedly suffered an injury blow as the Aston Villa forward has been tipped to be sidelined for between three to four weeks.
Villa played a behind-closed-doors friendly against Liverpool on Sunday, as after our disrupted pre-season schedule, Dean Smith seemingly wanted another run-out to help improve the overall fitness in the squad.
It came after the disappointing 3-2 defeat to Watford on Saturday, and hopefully it gave the players involved the opportunity to get minutes in their legs and to be that little bit sharper to ensure they’re ready if called upon.
Traore was involved in the game after coming off the bench at Vicarage Road, but as per Foot Mercato, he suffered a hamstring injury and will now be sidelined for three to four weeks.
The 25-year-old was a bright spark in the second half against Watford, while tallies of seven goals and seven assists in 38 appearances last season show that he played a key role for us then too.
In turn, losing him to a fresh injury blow is a setback that Smith would have hoped to do without, but ideally he’ll come through his recovery unscathed and be available after the international break.
After our transfer business this summer, Villa do have options in attack now with Smith still having Ollie Watkins, Danny Ings, Leon Bailey and Emiliano Buendia available to field against Newcastle Utd this weekend.
That certainly still looks a dangerous attacking unit as we attempt to bounce back from our opening-day loss, and so while Traore now works on making a full recovery, it’s hoped that the others step up and provide the creativity and end product to ensure that we pick up all three points on Saturday.