Injury List Addition
Aston Villa have been dealt a blow with the news that current number one goalkeeper Orjan Nyland will potentially be out for the rest of the season after rupturing his Achilles in training.
It makes Villa’s advance signing of Croatia international goalkeeper Lovre Kalinic seem like an inspired move now, as the club have a number one in place who would have more than likely have started as the year as Villa’s new number one anyway.
Still, it will be disappointing for Villa Head Coach Dean Smith who was hoping to create competition for the number one spot and give the team some depth in the position for the rest of the season.
Both Nyland and Kalinic would have benefited from having each other around.
Nyland has had next to no competition around, with loanee Andre Moreira and Mark Bunn not really at the standard that’s needed for a Villa number one.
Smith recently admitted that he hasn’t been too impressed by Moreira and it was expected he was to return to Atletico Madrid during the January window.
“At the moment Andre has not really been pushing. It is something we will look at in January,” said Smith, earlier in the month.
“I have spoken to Andre about that already. He was not a goalkeeper I was aware of when I first came into the club.
“We don’t really think he has been pushing Orjan as much as we would like. That is only our opinion.”
Kalinic won’t have clearance to start for Villa until next Saturday’s FA Cup clash with Swansea City, so one immediate problem for Villa’s Head Coach is who is going to play against QPR in the important game on New Year’s Day at Villa Park.
QPR currently sit eighth, one place above Villa in the table and have actually gained more points than Villa while Dean Smith has been at the club.
It’s thought Bunn will probably play, although looking to the rest of the season it would make a lot of sense to recall Jed Steer back from his loan at Charlton Athletic to cover Kalinic.
If Villa supporters can be thankful for any saving grace, it’s that the long-term injuries of Nyland and Axel Tuanzebe in Villa’s fragile backline, have come close to the January transfer when Smith can at least remedy the situation swiftly.