Aston Villa

Aston Villa: Journalist singles out dud for praise after pre-season performance

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Speaking on the Claret and Blue podcast, journalist Ashley Preece has lauded Aston Villa outcast Morgan Sanson for his showing in a recent pre-season friendly.

Steven Gerrard’s men took on League Two outfit Walsall last Saturday and ran out comfortable 4–0 winners, with the Frenchman playing the second half.

Sanson, who will be 28 in the middle of next month, featured in just one of the club’s final 11 Premier League games during the run-in last season and has made just 20 appearances for the club since signing from Marseille 18 months ago.

Having been on the fringes of the side, the arrival of Boubacar Kamara seemingly cast further doubt on the centre-midfielder – but Preece certainly seems to think he could be given a chance after his latest performance.

When asked if he was surprised by anyone’s showing against the Saddlers in particular, he said:

(4:52)”I quite liked Morgan Sanson, you know. I think he looked quite good, he looked quite fit.

“He had the bit between his teeth to really prove something. He always looked to attack and feed the front two.

“I know it’s only Walsall, but you want to see if they’re up for it and not just coasting.”

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Back in April, former Villans right-back Alan Hutton called for Sanson to move on with his career when speaking with Football Insider, but perhaps he will be able to play his way back into Gerrard’s thinking less than a month out from the start of the season.

Before arriving in the Premier League, the former France U21 international had contributed to five goals in 12 Ligue 1 appearances for Marseille during the 2020/21 campaign as former Villa boss Dean Smith brought him in, but with a change in the dugout, he did fall out of favour and was one of the least-used players by Gerrard despite not suffering from injury like many others.

Nonetheless, it does appear that a man who has played over 200 times in the top flight of French football and at the heights of the Champions League could yet prove beneficial for the West Midlanders, and competition for places will be something all supporters could get behind.

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