By Amir Mir

Roberto Di Matteo has confirmed Ritchie De Laet has picked up a serious injury and may require surgery.

The 27-year-old defender signed from Premier League champions Leicester City during the summer transfer window on a three-year deal.

Right-back De Laet went off injured in the second-half of his side’s 1-1 draw with Brentford on Wednesday night and Roberto Di Matteo confirmed the injury is significant.

“Unfortunately, Ritchie De Laet is a bit of a serious injury,” Di Matteo told his Friday press conference as posted by the club’s official Facebook Page. “He will have some more assessments today, it looks right now that he will need surgery, so he will be out for a while.”

The two-time Premier League winner has played three games for Di Matteo’s side this season.

De Laet has valuable Championship experience having won promotion with Aitor Karanka’s Middlesbrough side last season.

It means either Leandro Bacuna, Micah Richards or Alan Hutton will fight for the right-back spot, with James Chester another option for Di Matteo.

Bacuna replaced the Belgian when he went off injured against Brentford, as both Richards and Hutton have failed to make a single league appearance this term.

In other Aston Villa team news, Paul McGrath vents his anger at the club’s players.