Villa confirm another exit as bit-part ace leaves on loan

Aston Villa have confirmed that Morgan Sanson has joined Strasbourg on loan until the end of the season.

It’s been a struggle for the 28-year-old Frenchman since he arrived from Marseille in January 2021, as injuries and competition for places have severely limited him.

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Two years on and he has made just 23 appearances for Villa, while he only scored his first goal for the club earlier this month in a rare start.

While it had been hoped that he could still find a way to earn a more prominent role under Unai Emery, that won’t now happen this season as the club have announced that Sanson has joined Strasbourg on loan for the remainder of the campaign.

It’s worth noting that there is no mention of an option or obligation to buy included in the agreement, and the wording would suggest that Sanson will return in the summer following the conclusion of the loan spell.

In the short term, it’s hoped that he gets regular football now and shows his quality. In the long term, it remains to be seen if it leads to an eventual permanent exit with either Strasbourg or another interested party wanting to sign him if he impresses.

Given there is still a personal desire to see him flourish in a Villa shirt, there is still a small amount of hope that Emery will be impressed with Sanson’s application and form during his loan stint and could reassess his future in the summer.

The midfield ace’s current Villa contract runs until June 2025 and so there isn’t an immediate need to move him on, but time will tell if this decision has been made with the view that he doesn’t fit into Emery’s long-term plans or that he simply couldn’t promise him a significant role in the coming months.

“Sanson as well is in the possibility to leave, but Sanson for me is a very good player,” Emery said in his pre-Southampton press conference last week. “He understands very good how we want to play and he has the skill to do it. But he has to play in a team to be consistent, trying to play more and here it’s difficult to give him it – he is as well finding something to leave.”

Sanson becomes the fifth player to leave Villa so far this month, with Frederic Guilbert and Danny Ings leaving permanently while Cameron Archer was sent out on loan too and Jan Bednarek was recalled by Southampton.