Aston Villa

Having Wesley back in training will be “like a new signing” for Aston Villa, according to Alan Hutton.

The former Holte End favourite, speaking exclusively to Football Insider, insisted the training ground would be “buzzing” to have the 24-year-old back playing after over a year out.

The Brazilian has played twice for the under-23s in recent weeks as he steps up his recovery from a serious knee ligament injury.

However, his runout against Wolves’ under-23s was cut slightly short after he felt a twinge in the same knee.

Wesley has not featured for Villa since suffering the blow back on New Year’s Day in 2020.

as such, Hutton insisted his comeback would give the whole squad a massive lift.

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“He has had a massive boost,” Hutton told Football Insider assistant editor Russell Edge.

“He’s putting all the hard work in to finally get back on the pitch. It will give the players round about him a lift, everybody will be absolutely buzzing. It’ll be like a new signing.

“I always thought that would maybe see a little cameo at the end of the season because he’s obviously building up his minutes. It’d be a shame if that doesn’t happen but I think the goal will be for next season.

“They know the end game, is getting him back into the first team. It’s not about rushing him back in for any sort of reason so he’s got time on his hands.

“If they can get him to play before, brilliant but if not, a strong pre-season and hopefully we’ll see a brand new player. Ollie Watkins needs a partner that can help him. He can’t play every minute of every single game.”

In other news, Aston Villa have set sights on ambitious Dean Smith replacement.