Aston Villa: Update on forgotten man Wesley

  • Tom Kelly
Aston Villa striker Wesley set to feature against Wolves U23s

Journalist Ben Dinnery has revealed that forgotten Aston Villa striker Wesley will start for the U23s against Wolves. 

What did Dinnery say?

The injury news reporter has revealed that the Brazilian will feature for Villa's youth side as part of his recovery from injury. 

"Wesley is set to start for the U23s against Wolves this afternoon," Dinnery tweeted.

"The striker has been sidelined since suffering a serious knee ligament injury on New Years Day back in 2020, but recently stepped up his recovery playing 45 minutes of a behind-closed-doors friendly vs WBA." 

Returning to competitive action is a huge step for a player who has been injured for over a year, even if it's at a lesser level. 

Have Villa fans seen Wesley at his best?

During the summer of 2019, the Brazilian made the switch from the Belgian top-flight to the Premier League in a £22m transfer. Prior to his move to Villa Park, Wesley excelled during his final season with Club Brugge. 

In the Jupiler Pro League, the forward provided 19 goal contributions across 28 games and became the focal point of the Brugge attack. 

However, he's failed to replicate this level of form in a Villa shirt. 

Prior to his injury in the 2018/19 season, Wesley converted just five goals in 21 Premier League matches. 

How many games has Wesley missed?

According to Transfermarkt, the Brazilian has been sidelined since January 2020, which has resulted in the 24-year-old missing a total of 55 games for Villa. 

This will be incredibly frustrating for the Villa hierarchy, as the striker hasn't featured for over a year and has been taking home £35,000 a week in wages. 

Will Wesley struggle to get back into the first team?

With Ollie Watkins now in the picture, Wesley has quite the challenge ahead of him to regain his starting spot.

Usually, Villa play with just a single striker and two wingers on either side, and Watkins has claimed the central position in Wesley's absence. 

So far this season, the former Brentford man has netted ten Premier League goals and has also received the Man of the Match award on four separate occasions, as per WhoScored

In addition to this, his superb form in a Villa shirt recently earned Watkins his first call-up to the national side, where he converted against San Marino on his debut. 

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In which season did Villa wear this kit?

Should Villa look at selling Wesley? 

The Villa man is currently the tenth-highest earner at the club and when he returns from injury, it's unlikely that the Brazilian will be able to reclaim his first-team place. 

However, beyond Watkins there isn't much strength and depth in the striker role. Although he takes home a considerable wage, Villa should only offload Wesley if they are able to bring in another forward of superior quality. 

It's also worth noting that Wesley has been unfortunate in sustaining this injury during the infancy of his Aston Villa career. So maybe he still has a role to play at Villa Park, even if he's no longer the main man. 

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