Sunday, March 3, 2024

Clement Lenglet expected to stay at Aston Villa until the end of the season

SoccerNews in General Soccer News 10 Jan 2024

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Clement Lenglet is set to stay at Aston Villa despite a host of top European clubs chasing the defender.

The 28-year-old, on loan from Barcelona, had options to leave this window but is expected to remain at Villa Park until the end of the season.

AC Milan, Napoli, Lyon, Monaco and several sides in Spain were all keen on taking the France international, the PA news agency understands.

But Villa have ruled out cutting short the ex-Sevilla man’s loan as they mount a surprise title challenge.

Lenglet endured a frustrating first half of the season and only made his Premier League debut for Unai Emery’s side in the 1-1 draw against Sheffield United just before Christmas.

An ankle injury to Pau Torres in December gave Lenglet, who joined after Tyrone Mings was ruled out for the rest of the campaign with a serious knee injury in August, his chance and made a January exit almost impossible.

He had been previously exclusively used in the Europa Conference League, playing five of Villa’s six games as they qualified from Group E.

Since the draw against the Blades, Lenglet, who made 35 appearances on loan at Tottenham last season, has started every game, including Saturday’s 1-0 FA Cup win at Middlesbrough.

Emery recently praised the centre-back’s professionalism, despite his lack of action, and insisted he wanted to keep him.

He said last month: “He is a very good professional and we have been working with him every day, trying to understand our style. He was even coming in when the players had a day off to do extra work.

“I am speaking with Lenglet and sending him a message that I am very happy with him. I need him, the team needs him now.

“We agreed a contract between the club and him to help us out. There is nothing in my mind which has changed in that relationship.”

Villa go to Everton on Sunday aiming to maintain their championship challenge, with Emery’s side second in the Premier League, three points behind leaders Liverpool.

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