Aston Villa boss Unai Emery has revealed he has had discussions with Morgan Sanson and Ludwig Augustinsson over potential exits from the club.
Having already made his first signing this month after Alex Moreno’s arrival this week, the expectation is that Emery will continue to stamp his mark on the squad and will be backed by the club hierarchy to bring in players better suited to his ideas moving forward.
Naturally, any new signing will be assessed closely to ensure that they improve what we already have, and that seems to be the case with Moreno who will provide great competition at left-back and give Emery an option that helps him implement his preferred style and identity.
With new signings must also come outgoings though in order to find the right balance in the squad, and Emery has revealed that he has spoken with some members of the group about a potential move away.
Emery on Augustinsson
“In La Liga he [Moreno] was a very important player,” he told the media, as per Villa TV. “We have two left-backs, Lucas Digne and Ludwig Augustinsson, but the profile is similar with them.
“I spoke with Augustinsson about the possibility to leave – he is on loan here from Sevilla – because I wanted to sign a different profile, trying to be more offensive.”
Augustinsson, 28, has made just five appearances since joining us last summer in a season-long loan deal, with former boss Steven Gerrard looking to add depth and experience in that position.
However, particularly now with Moreno’s arrival, it looks as though the Swede might be deemed surplus to requirements by Emery, and it remains to be seen if an agreement can be reached between the relevant parties that provides the best solution for all concerned.
Ultimately, Augustinsson’s playing time is only going to be further limited now as he drops down the pecking order, with Digne perhaps having a real fight on his hands to displace Moreno.
Meanwhile, Emery also spoke about Sanson on Thursday, and it appears as though he’s happy with the Frenchman’s application and will use him while he’s still at the club, but ultimately an exit now sounds likely for him too.
Emery on Sanson
“He has the possibility to leave but, as well, while he’s here with us I can use him,” Emery said, as per The Express and Star. “For example, he’s in the squad for the game against Leeds. He has the possibility to play and to help us.
“But thinking about the next month with the matches, his future as well. If he can have some opportunity to leave and to play more minutes than he’s playing here, he can leave.
“I am so happy with him as a person. With him, every day he’s working and he’s helping the team.”
Sanson, 28, scored his first goal for the club in a rare start against Stevenage in the FA Cup last weekend, and it had been hoped that he could build on that and try to earn a consistent run of games off the back of that performance.
However, these latest comments from Emery suggest that if the right offer comes in for Villa and Sanson is open to the switch, he could now move on this month and end what has been an underwhelming stint at the club since his arrival in January 2021.
Injuries and competition for places have limited Sanson to just 22 appearances to date, and so while there is disappointment over the possibility of him leaving having shown all too brief glimpses of his quality, it’s arguably the sensible decision, particularly if Villa and Emery are keen to bring in a stronger option to fill that space in the squad moving forward.