Important boost after Villa welcome key figure back to squad

211 days after rupturing his Achilles tendon, Aston Villa defender Diego Carlos finally made his long-awaited return to the matchday squad this past weekend at West Ham.

The 29-year-old has undoubtedly been through a gruelling rehabilitation process, and beyond the pitch, to suffer such a serious injury so early after his move to join us and in a different environment and country, it must have been a testing time for both him and his family.

READ MORE: What Emery said in analysis of Villa’s draw at West Ham

While we’ve all monitored his comeback story through social media posts and updates from the club on his status, we’ve been itching to see our marquee summer signing return to action to have the kind of influence that he was signed to add.

Carlos comes back with a new manager at the helm in Unai Emery, but given what the Spanish tactician is demanding of his players, he could very well be a perfect fit for the Villa boss and so his return is a huge boost for all concerned.

Naturally, it’s going to take time still for Carlos to be integrated back into the side, as although it’s a significant landmark in his recovery to make the squad again, he is likely nowhere near ready to feature yet and will have to build both his match fitness and confidence back up by getting valuable minutes.

It’s highly unlikely that Emery will throw him straight back into the senior side, and it’s a complicated process to try and work out if and when Carlos can get minutes late in games depending on the scoreline, and that is arguably something that Emery hasn’t got time to consider when plotting a way for us to win Premier League games.

In turn, perhaps the sensible move is to involve Carlos with the youth side initially to get playing time where possible, and from there he can put himself in a position to compete and try to displace one of Tyrone Mings or Ezri Konsa.

That in itself is going to be a challenge too, as with Villa now finding some stability and solidity at the back having conceded just one goal in our last three league outings, it won’t be easy to force his way into one of those spots unless we start to stumble again or we pick up a fresh injury concern.

For now though, it’s great to see Carlos back involved in the squad, and with his aggressive and physical defensive style coupled with the technical quality and composure that he possesses which will help us build out from the back, he ticks a lot of the right boxes for Emery and has the attributes and strengths on paper to be a fundamental figure for him, and us.

His selection in the matchday squad on Sunday would no doubt have done wonders for his confidence and belief, and so it’s now hoped that we’ll see Carlos back on the pitch in the near future, having the level of impact that can help us to implement Emery’s ideas more efficiently to continue to push on and compete.


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