Aston Villa latest news: £22m Dean Smith signing has now reached career-defining crossroads

Aston Villa boss Dean Smith

Aston Villa striker Wesley's career has reached a crossroads after recovering from a horrific long-term injury, according to Express & Star journalist Luke Hatfield.

What's the latest news involving Wesley?

Villa forked out £22million to sign Wesley from Belgian side Club Brugge in the 2019 summer transfer window.

The Brazilian is back with his former employers after agreeing to a season-long loan deal last month.

Wesley is looking to rebuild his career after suffering a serious knee ligament injury during Villa's clash with Burnley on New Year's Day 2020, which was initially due to keep him out until the end of the season.

However, the frontman's eventual return to first-team action did not come until 15 months later as he emerged as a late substitute against West Bromwich Albion last season.

Wesley has failed to make a Villa start since sustaining the injury and headed back to Club Brugge having scored six goals in 26 appearances for his Midlands employers.

In a recent interview with Belgian newspaper Het Nieuwsblad, via Sport Witness, Wesley has alleged Burnley captain Ben Mee's challenge - which led to the long-term injury - was not accidental and he had doubts over whether he would play professionally again.

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What has Luke Hatfield said about Wesley?

Hatfield admits Wesley's long-term lay-off came as a huge blow as the striker had started to show why Villa parted with such a substantial sum for his services.

The journalist is now unsure as to whether Wesley will ever play for Villa again.

Hatfield told GMS: "His career is at a crossroads.

"Wesley obviously came in as a club record signing and I think a lot of fans were really excited to see him.

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"Before his injury, he was just starting to get to a point where I think fans were buying into what he could bring and he was beginning to find his feet in the Premier League because it was a big step up for him coming from Belgian football. It was just a horrendous injury."

Are we likely to see Wesley feature for Villa again?

Wesley's £35,000-per-week contract expires in 2024, so he could return to the reckoning if he shines while on loan with Club Brugge.

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Which club did Villa sign Trezeguet from?

However, Villa have spent big on strikers since Wesley suffered the knee ligament injury.

Ollie Watkins has become a key part of head coach Dean Smith's side since making the then-club record move from Brentford last year, scoring 16 goals in 44 appearances.

Danny Ings also completed a £25million summer switch from Southampton and won the Premier League's Goal of the Month award for his overhead kick against Newcastle United in August.

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