Aston Villa could reportedly see Southampton recall Jan Bednarek from his season-long loan deal with us in the January transfer window.
Villa completed the signing of the 26-year-old on deadline day as former boss Steven Gerrard looked to bolster his options in defence.
The Polish international has since gone on to make just two appearances for us, the last of which came in our 3-0 defeat to Fulham where he was replaced at half-time in Gerrard’s last game in charge.
Unai Emery has since arrived at the club and will no doubt be given an opportunity to stamp his mark on the squad starting in the January transfer window, but he may now lose Bednarek regardless of his opinion on whether or not he fits into his plans moving forward.
According to The Telegraph’s Mike McGrath, Southampton are considering strengthening their options at centre-back, and one of their potential moves could be to bring Bednarek back and recall him from his loan spell with us.
Emery won’t have had as much time as he would have liked to assess Bednarek given he was away on international duty at the World Cup over the past month, and so he didn’t get as close a look at him as those who travelled to the UAE for our mid-season training camp.
Nevertheless, he would have seen plenty of video on him and may well feel comfortable about seeing him go if Southampton come knocking and wish to take him back.
Should that happen though, Villa would then have a big decision to make on whether or not we have enough until the end of the campaign or whether we need to then sign a replacement next month.
Tyrone Mings and Ezri Konsa have featured heavily for Emery in the heart of the backline, while we currently have Calum Chambers available as a back-up option if they are unavailable. It’s hoped that Diego Carlos will continue to make progress in his recovery from injury too and he’ll hopefully be available in the back-end of the season.
In turn, should Bednarek leave, the above would suggest that a new centre-half would be needed by Villa to ensure we have enough competition and depth moving forward, and so Emery may well look to address that if the situation arises.