Aston Villa news: Bjorn Engels set for exit as agreement reached with Royal Antwerp

Aston Villa have confirmed that they have reached an agreement over the transfer of Bjorn Engels to Royal Antwerp, in what will be a permanent exit for the centre-half.

The 26-year-old joined Villa in 2019 and made 19 appearances for the club before losing his place in the starting line-up and being unable to force his way back in this past season.

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With Ezri Konsa and Tyrone Mings established as Dean Smith’s preferred centre-half pairing, playing time would have continued to be difficult to come by for Engels, and so he is set to move on this summer and embark on a new challenge in his homeland.

As confirmed on Villa’s official site, an agreement has been reached between the two clubs over a permanent deal, with Antwerp having already announced the move albeit it remains subject to a medical which will take place over the weekend.

In fairness to Engels, it’s a big decision for his career and he is ultimately prioritising playing regular first-team football over warming the Villa bench, and so for that the Belgian defender should be commended.

While it’s unfortunate to lose him, Villa and Smith will now have to identify a replacement to fill the void, as there is an obvious lack of depth in the current squad in that department alongside Kortney Hause.

Time will tell who arrives to offer that depth, but for now it looks as though Engels is set for a departure and we wish him well in the future after a brief stint at Villa.