Aston Villa boss Steven Gerrard has provided updates on Matty Cash, Lucas Digne, Boubacar Kamara and Cameron Archer after their injury setbacks.
Following the conclusion of the international break, Villa now face a busy fixture schedule as we play nine games between October 2 and November 13.
With that in mind, now would be an ideal time to have a full-strength squad available, but unfortunately for us we’re continuing to deal with setbacks to key individuals.
While Diego Carlos is already a long-term absentee, Gerrard has confirmed that Villa will be without the services of Kamara for the next couple of months in another damaging blow after he suffered a knee injury in the win over Southampton, while he also provided the latest on Cash, Digne and Archer too.
“Bouba will be missing until after the World Cup unfortunately so that’s a huge blow,” he told the media, as per VillaTV. “Lucas Digne has a heel problem and it’s one we’re going to have to monitor as we go along, so it’s very difficult to put a timescale on Lucas but he’ll certainly be missing in the coming weeks. We’re due to assess that situation again in just over two weeks to see whether his heel has healed enough for us to progress, but that’s quite a frustrating one again, another big player missing for us.
“On the Matty Cash front, it’s positive news, he should join the group on Monday back into full training, he did part of the session today for the first time. So we’ll welcome him back. Cameron Archer will come back in the squad as well, he’s had a bit of a niggle in his adductor but we’re on top of that for the time being. He’ll join the squad.”
The loss of Kamara for a significant period of time is the biggest blow given the French international’s influence in midfield in both phases of the game.
He has immediately established himself as a pivotal figure in Gerrard’s side, and we’ll certainly miss his defensive presence and technical quality on the ball in a key role in the Villa XI.
Further, losing Digne with no clear recovery time is also a big setback, especially this weekend as we’ll be without both of our first-choice full-backs. His experience and attacking quality will be missed while he’s sidelined, and it will be a frustrating time for him personally too as he has seemingly had his time with us so far consistently disrupted by injuries.
However, on a more positive note, it will be important to get Cash back hopefully in time for the trip to Nottingham Forest on October 10 if he gets a full week of training in his legs, and while Ashley Young has done a great job of filling in for him at right-back, we could use the versatile veteran on the left in Digne’s absence too.
As for Archer, it’s been a frustrating start to the season for him given his lack of minutes following the decision to keep him at the club and not loan him out. Having put his injury behind him now though and being back available, it’s hoped that we see more of him as we’ll need to use our depth and rotate at times.
Villa are in a stronger place now in terms of having a squad that is capable of dealing with injuries, but at a time where we’re still looking to build some form and do it convincingly, losing pillars of the side is never helpful and it’s hoped that those stepping in can deliver and Gerrard puts them in a position to impress.