Aston Villa manager Dean Smith and assistant John Terry

Noel Whelan says it is “massively cruel” for Aston Villa goalkeeper to have suffered a serious injury blow after stepping into the starting XI for Dean Smith. 

Speaking exclusively to Football Insider assistant editor Russell Edge, the former Leeds United striker says it is a “crazy” piece of bad fortune for the shot-stopper to have been struck down just eight minutes into his first league appearance of the season.

Steer was stepping into the starting XI against Wolves after a training injury suffered by first-choice keeper Tom Heaton but he failed to see out the first 10 minutes, third-choice Orjan Nyland confirming it is set to be a lengthy layoff for the 27-year-old.

Whelan says it is a rarity to see one goalkeeper get injured, let alone two in the space of as many days, and he voiced his sympathy for Steer after his opportunity was snatched away from him.

Whelan told Football Insider: “Rarely do you see injuries to goalkeepers but you’ve got two within the space of one game for Aston Villa. It’s massively cruel, especially when you’ve got to bide your time behind a fantastic keeper in Heaton.

“With that opportunity, to get that injury so early in the game is just crazy but I suppose that’s just life of being a footballer, you’ve just got to roll with it. 

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“Now Aston Villa are in the predicament of having the one goalkeeper and they’ll have to dip into the under-23s I would have thought.”

Steer, who was Villa’s first-choice between the sticks for the latter half of their promotion-winning campaign last season, has just two Premier League appearances under his belt, the first coming back in 2015.

In other Aston Villa news, Football Insider can reveal that Dean Smith has given the green light for one of his signings to be sold by the club.