The Athletic’s Gregg Evans has dropped a behind-the-scenes claim at Aston Villa about what Johan Lange is pushing for from Dean Smith.
The Midlands club enjoyed a busy summer transfer window which saw numerous players come in and Jack Grealish head to Manchester City, but one man who has kind of been lost in the shuffle over the past few months is Morgan Sanson.
Writing for The Athletic, Evans revealed: “It’s understood that sporting director Johan Lange was very keen for Sanson, who made his first appearance in 149 days for the under-21s last night, to be given a chance to show what he is made of, too. It was Lange who pushed hard for that particular move, with CEO Christian Purslow agreeing that a £14 million deal last January represented good value for money.”
He added: “Whether a perceived fragility comes back to bite Villa in their quest for the top half remains to be seen. Can Luiz pull it all together to become the defensive midfielder Villa are missing? Will Nakamba find some consistency? Or does Sanson fill the gap? The weeks and months ahead should provide some answers.”
In what was a rather frustrating first half-season in English football for Sanson, the Frenchman made just nine appearances in the Premier League totaling 291 minutes worth of football.
Following his disappointing displays, former Premier League goalkeeper Paddy Kenny said: “I don’t see why they wouldn’t sell him if he’s not producing. It’s only six months and sometimes you’ve got to give players a little bit more time. Not everyone settles well in this country.
“But if they are interested in a couple more midfielders then that could be a sign. There’s no shame in cutting your losses and moving on. People make mistakes. You’re never going to get every signing spot-on.”
Such has been the disappointment surrounding him that reports emerged even in late March that Villa chiefs felt they had made a big mistake in bringing Sanson to the club, and that “he is said to be very difficult to manage, and proved to be so much trouble for two of his former agents they decided to let him go.”
The report added that “there is a feeling in the corridors of power the club ‘haven’t done their homework’ over the 26-year-old Frenchman.”
Given that Villa were after the likes of James Ward-Prowse over the summer transfer window, it was clear that Smith was looking to bring in a new central midfielder. The fact that they haven’t done so, and may need to turn towards a player who both the coaching and recruitment staff seemingly feel isn’t up to scratch, is sure to leave fans fuming.
Lange pushing for Sanson to be given a chance is understandable given that he has only been here for a few months, but should that have been at the expense of potentially pushing the boat out for landing one of their big targets like Ward-Prowse?
Villa fans may be livid over this latest update from Evans.
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