Villa confirm exit as loanee recalled with Emery now facing decision

Aston Villa have confirmed that Jan Bednarek has been recalled by Southampton and will return to the Saints early from his loan spell.

The 26-year-old was a late addition to the Villa squad last summer on a season-long loan deal, with former boss Steven Gerrard looking to add depth and physicality to the group on deadline day.

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Ultimately though, Bednarek went on to make just four appearances for the club, and as per Villa’s official statement, Southampton have requested to recall him, and we’ve approved that move.

While that decision suits all concerned as Bednarek will have the opportunity to play a bigger role now while the Saints have another option in defence and we move on a bit-part player, it does mean we need another important call from Unai Emery regarding the depth in his squad.

Diego Carlos is continuing his recovery from a long-term injury and it’s hoped that he is back in contention next month onwards, but in the short term, that does leave us light in defence in the event of injuries and suspensions.

Tyrone Mings and Ezri Konsa have remained the first-choice pairing for Emery, while Calum Chambers is available to step in if needed in the coming weeks to provide cover. There is also the option to promote some of our youngsters with the likes of Lamare Bogarde, Josh Feeney and Seb Revan involved with the senior squad.

However, that’s arguably a lot to ask of them to step in if required, and so it will be interesting to see if Emery prioritises bringing in another centre-half this week to fill the void left behind by Bednarek, or if he’s willing to stay as we are and address it in the summer.

The hope is that Carlos stays on schedule now and makes a full recovery to provide a vital option in that position, but it’s arguably a gamble to rely on that until we see him back in action and can assess how long he’ll need to get back up to speed.

For now though, it’s another exit as the Villa boss continues to trim the squad and mould it into his own, and so it could potentially be a busy final week of the transfer window in terms of incomings for us too.