Aston Villa boss Unai Emery has reiterated his stance on Ludwig Augustinsson’s future, despite the injury suffered by Lucas Digne.
Augustinsson, 28, joined us on a season-long loan deal from Sevilla last summer in a late addition that was made for former boss Steven Gerrard.
The Swedish international has gone on to make just five appearances so far this season, and particularly after the arrival of Alex Moreno this month, he has now fallen further down the pecking order and is unlikely to see significant minutes between now and the end of the campaign.
Emery spoke about Augustinsson’s future at his press conference last week and revealed that he had spoken with him and informed him that he could leave if he found another opportunity.
After Digne suffered an injury against Leeds Utd last Friday night, that could have forced a change in plans in order to ensure we have enough quality in depth at left-back if the Frenchman was set for an extended spell on the sidelines. However, when asked if that was the case or if Augustinsson was still expected to leave, Emery reiterated his stance and it hasn’t changed.
“I spoke with Augustinsson, and after we signed Alex Moreno, I want two players in this position and it’s Alex Moreno and Lucas Digne,” he told the media at his pre-Southampton press conference on Thursday. “He [Augustinsson] is still here but I think in his mind as well is to leave.”
While the Swede will potentially be on the bench this weekend against Southampton to cover for Moreno, it does make sense to cut his loan stint short and allow him to move on if he doesn’t form part of Emery’s plans moving forward.
Even if Digne is ruled out for a lengthy period of time, the Villa boss still has the option of playing versatile veteran Ashley Young at left-back if needed, and so it arguably would be a sensible way of trimming the squad and focusing in on options that suit Emery’s ideas and style of play.
Time will tell if Augustinsson can find an alternative solution in the coming weeks, but it ultimately makes sense for all concerned for him to move on if possible. Emery certainly hasn’t been shy in expressing his stance on this specific situation, while he also confirmed that both Marvelous Nakamba and Morgan Sanson can leave this month too in the same press conference when discussing possible exits.