Sanson frustration continues as Villa exit talk returns

Aston Villa midfielder Morgan Sanson has once again been linked with an exit this summer as frustration over his spell with the club continues.

The 27-year-old joined us from Marseille in January 2021, and while a serious knee injury forced him to miss the end of last season and spend last summer continuing his recovery, he has been limited to just 19 appearances in a Villa shirt.

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Now, as he continues to struggle to break into the starting line-up under Steven Gerrard, Footmercato report that Nantes are interested in taking him back to France this summer, and ultimately if his situation at Villa doesn’t change between now and the end of the season, then it seems highly likely that he could consider an exit.

Villa must give Sanson chance to impress before end of season

Having shown his ability at Marseille and gained invaluable experience at the highest level in the Champions League, there was a lot of excitement and expectation when Sanson joined us as we felt as though we had added real quality to our midfield.

Injuries haven’t helped his cause, but when the Frenchman has been involved in the side, he’s largely impressed and had a positive influence, and so that makes it all the more baffling that he hasn’t been given more opportunities.

Despite ongoing criticism and frustration over the inability of Douglas Luiz to play as a No.6 given his defensive shortcomings, neither Dean Smith nor Gerrard have given Sanson an extended run in the side to try and make our midfield more imposing and have more control of games, something that it has clearly struggled to do consistently over the past 12 months.

Furthermore, it seems both Jacob Ramsey and John McGinn are immune to being dropped, or at the very least rested, with the pair struggling to showcase their best form in recent weeks.

All the while Sanson continues to warm the bench, constantly seeing others brought on ahead of him and being unable to impress and prove his worth to Gerrard and Villa.

Given our frailties and weaknesses in midfield, it begs the question as to whether Sanson simply isn’t doing enough in training to warrant a more prominent role, as that seems to be the only reason at this stage with Gerrard not impressed enough to be forced into making that change in midfield.

As we continue to struggle in games to control possession and the tempo, to provide protection in front of the backline and to have composure and technical quality to link play between the lines, it will be a real shame if we go through these remaining nine games and don’t see Sanson feature.

There is an obvious argument to back giving him an opportunity to showcase his quality and show that he can be an important part of our plans moving forward. As we see the same problems blighting our performances and results week after week, it wouldn’t do any harm to see what we’ve got in reserve.

Conversely, perhaps he struggles. Perhaps he shows that he isn’t up to the standard of the Premier League and Gerrard was right to leave him on the bench. Either way, we’ll get the answer that we need ahead of a big summer transfer window in which the Villa boss will make big decisions to stamp his mark on the squad.

We must see what Sanson can provide us with over a decent run of games. If we don’t give him that opportunity, we risk losing a highly-talented player who could have made a big impact for us but was never really given a real chance to show it.