Aston Villa supporters this week would have seen the image of a freshly trimmed Bertrand Traoré training at Bodymoor Heath. The winger, on top of returning back from loan from Istanbul Basaksehir FK, is also now back from injury.
“Bertrand Traoré is starting to train with the team normally, but it’s the first day [today],” confirmed Unai Emery, ahead of Villa’s trip to Manchester City this Sunday.
Traoré had been shipped out to Turkey by Steven Gerrard, with the then Villa boss, not tending to utilise wingers in his formations. Under Emery, there will be opportunities and after failing to secure any better winger options in the January window, there was a lot of sense in getting Traoré back, considering they were no doubt already paying a chunk of his wages while he was on loan.
While Traoré isn’t expected to be in Villa’s match day squad for the trip to the Etihad, he should appear later in the month.
Welcome back, Bert. 🙌 pic.twitter.com/G65feUIeQ0— Aston Villa (@AVFCOfficial) February 10, 2023
Meanwhile, Emery announced that Brazilian centre-back Diego Carlos will finally be joining his teammates in training next week. The centre-back had ruptured his Achilles’ tendon in Villa’s 2-1 win against Everton at the start of the season.
“Diego Carlos is doing his work individually but I think next week he will start with us, which is very good news,” announced Emery, this week.
Last year, Carlos had been mooted to return at the back end of January to early February, but while perhaps a couple weeks shy of that, it will be interesting to see how Carlos is eased back into the team in March.
Certainly after such a serious injury, you’d expect him to start from the bench in March, but if Villa slip into mid-table obscurity at the back end of the season, Emery will no doubt give him game time to size him up in terms of his role next season.
The Villa centre-back only has a couple of appearances for the club to his name, so the return of their £26m signing will be a major boost to the look of Villa’s match day squad.
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