Following Steven Gerrard’s appointment as Aston Villa’s new manager last month, one man who will be desperately hoping to revive his career at the club is Morgan Sanson.
Speaking after his signing back in the January transfer window, former Villa boss Dean Smith raved about the kind of qualities the midfielder could bring to the club, saying: “He has got a big game mentality, he has played at the top of the French league for the last five years, played in the Champions League.
“He is a great technician and has great tactical awareness. He can play in a number of positions, can set up goals and can score goals. He has a bit of everything in his game so we’re really pleased with the acquisition.”
The self-proclaimed “warrior” showed his qualities as a really effective box-to-box presence in his time at Marseille.
Before his move to the Midlands, he averaged an impressive 1.8 tackles and 1.1 key passes per game in Ligue 1, both of which ranked him favourably compared to the rest of Villa’s squad. In fact, only two other Villa players averaged more tackles per match than him, while only four others had averaged more key passes.
However, since his switch to Villa Park, things have failed to take off, to say the least. He played just nine Premier League games last season following his January move and has had just 26 minutes of top-flight football this term, although those appearances have both come under Gerrard.
Football Insider revealed that there is a belief behind the scenes at Villa Park that the club “haven’t done their homework” on Sanson, and as well as being difficult to manage, he does not seem to have the technical ability that they had expected initially.
Of course, under a new manager in Gerrard, the internal view could well be different now, and Sanson could once again come into the reckoning. However, with the January transfer window opening soon, this could well be last chance saloon for the £48k-a-week Frenchman to salvage his Villa Park career.
Given the numbers he posted at Marseille, the midfielder deserves a prolonged chance to prove his worth, so Gerrard must unleash him soon to see whether the 27-year-old can demonstrate why he was brought to the club in the first place.