Three ex-Aston Villa stars Steve Bruce wishes he had amid injury crisis
COMMENT By Matt Farr
Aston Villa manager Steve Bruce sees his resources heavily depleted for Tuesday’s trip to Huddersfield, after two players limped-off injured against Rotherham last time out.
Birkir Bjarnason and Jack Grealish are the latest casualties to join Aston Villa’s growing injury list, one that has already claimed five first-team scalps – while Leandro Bacuna is suspended.
With the Villa park medical team working tirelessly to nurse his stars back to health, Football Insider suggests three former Villa favourites that Bruce would love to have at his disposal in their absence:
After a relatively uninspiring Premier League campaign, Bruce’s predecessor Roberto Di Matteo opted to sell Sinclair as part of a considerable shake-up of the first-team squad.
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However, since leaving Aston Villa in the summer, Sinclair has been given a new lease of life under Brendan Rodgers at Celtic.
Sinclair, 27, has scored an incredible 18 goals from 37 appearances for Celtic this season, bursting onto the scene with goals in each of his first six league matches for the club.
He has also supplied 10 assists, having formed a formidable partnership with Celtic’s top goalscorer Moussa Dembele.
The absence of Grealish, Bjarnason and Andre Green is likely to see Bruce field Jordan Amavi on the left-win against Huddersfield, but Bruce would no doubt love to have had the goalscoring Sinclair at his disposal.
Aston Villa have been lacking in both goals and quality in the wider areas, and Sinclair has shown that in abundance in Scotland this season.
Juan Pablo Angel
With strikers Scott Hogan and Rushian Hepburn-Murphy both out injured, and the likes of Rudy Gestede and Jordan Ayew sold in January, Bruce is left with just Jonathan Kodjia to lead the line.
It could be worse, as Kodjia is Aston Villa’s top goalscorer this season, but Bruce would love to have another goalscorer up his sleeve. One like Juan Pablo Angel.
The now-retired Colombian striker scored 62 goals for Aston Villa from 205 appearances, enjoying his most fruitful season during the 2003-04 season with 23 goals.
His efforts that year helped Villa to a sixth-placed finish in the Premier League, and Bruce would love for that impact to help rectify the club’s slump to 15th in the Championship.
Much like Sinclair, Ashley Young could have provided Bruce with both a quality wide option and a potential goalscorer.
Young played for Villa between January 2007 to June 2011, before sealing a move to Manchester United.
During that time, he made 190 appearances in all competitions, scoring 38 goals.
He was a big hit with the fans, as well as then-boss Martin O’Neill, who branded the England winger as ‘world-class’ in a post-match press conference in 2009.
Young’s versatility could have been a handy option for Bruce in the coming weeks, as he would have had a choice as to deploy him anywhere across the midfield or attack to accommodate what remaining talent his has left at his disposal.
In other Aston Villa news, watch as Ian Taylor celebrates with Villa fans during the win over Rotherham.