Despite being fit and ready to play, Morgan Sanson continues to be snubbed by Aston Villa boss Steven Gerrard, thus leading to doubts over his future at the club.
It’s been a difficult time for the 28-year-old since he joined Villa in January 2021, as through a combination of injury woes and competition for places he has been limited to just 20 appearances for the club, totalling 655 minutes of football.
For a player with such quality and experience at a high level, it’s naturally not the return we would have hoped for on the investment made in him, but factors outside of Sanson’s control have also contributed to that frustration.
While we don’t get to see first-hand how he performs in training, we’re consistently told by Gerrard that the Frenchman is a top professional and continues to push for a bigger role, but despite his efforts and regardless of how impressive he might look at Bodymoor Heath, it’s just not translating into opportunities to play.
Sanson has yet to feature this season, and his frustration spilled over with an Instagram post earlier this month as after being left out of the squad to face Bournemouth in our Premier League season opener, he confirmed he was fit and ready to help the team only to be snubbed altogether on matchday.
What makes the situation all the more baffling though is that Villa and Gerrard evidently have a problem in midfield. We lack physical presence, technical quality and an ability to control both possession and the tempo of a game, all issues that Sanson could arguably help with, and has helped with in the past when he’s been picked.
For the most part, he has impressed when involved, but despite John McGinn being very much out of form currently and Jacob Ramsey making a quiet start to the season, Gerrard still refuses to change things and put more support around Boubacar Kamara.
However, things look as bad as they have ever been for Sanson at Villa this week, as he wasn’t even named in the squad to face Bolton Wanderers in the Carabao Cup on Tuesday night.
It was an ideal opportunity for Gerrard to rotate and give others a chance to impress and stake a claim for a starting spot, but such is the pressure he’s under and such is the need to build some confidence and momentum, he stuck with a strong XI and once again had no room for Sanson in his plans.
At this point, it looks as though his time at Villa is over. It’s a confusing situation that is leading to us wasting his talent, and ultimately it’s now hoped that he gets a move elsewhere before the deadline so he can get on with his career.
Given his attributes, he can quite clearly make a difference for us in a positive way in midfield. Combined with the fact that others are not performing to a high enough standard and yet are still picked every week shows that Gerrard doesn’t have any intention of bringing Sanson into the fold, and that is a hugely disappointing outcome which likely spells the end of his time at Villa.