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Aston Villa should unleash Jan Bednarek

Aston Villa must surely now unleash defender Jan Bednarek against Leeds United when the two teams clash in the Premier League on Sunday.

Steven Gerrard signed the 26-year-old on a season-long loan deal from Southampton on deadline day and he has yet to feature for the club, but his performance for Poland in last night’s Nations League match against Wales may have given the manager food for thought.

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The defender received a SofaScore rating of 7.3 for his performance in helping Poland keep a clean sheet in their 1-0 victory which consigned the Welsh to relegation from the top tier of the Nations League.

It marked a major improvement from his last match that saw Bednarek underperform in a 2-0 defeat to the Netherlands, achieving a rating of just 6.8 as per SofaScore.

The ability to bounce back and put in a solid display last night won’t do his World Cup chances any harm, while Gerrard will surely have been paying attention.

He managed to keep the effervescent Gareth Bale quiet during the vital win, with the former £85.3m player playing his first full match since a World Cup qualifier against Estonia last September, with his only real chance a header that rattled the crossbar late on.

Bednarek made a whopping ten clearances, produced one interception and had 54 touches during the encounter, while also completing 82% of his attempted passes.

He won 78% of his total duels, proving just how strong he is in a one-to-one scenario and the 26-year-old only lost possession seven times during the whole match, the fourth lowest in the team.

It was a mature performance by Bednarek that puts him in contention to feature at the heart of the Villa defence when they take on Leeds. Indeed, the aforementioned Bale was pretty much anonymous against the Villans loanee, winning just one of his 11 duels in the contest.

Will Bednarek start for Aston Villa on Sunday?





With Diego Carlos injured for the foreseeable future, the Polish defender was brought in as cover and Gerrard will be hoping he can be the rock at the back the side so desperately needs.

Journalist Sam Tighe has dubbed the centre-back as a “monster” in the past and the player certainly has all the credentials to make Gerrard forget about Carlos in the meantime.