A round up of the latest news and gossip connected to Aston Villa.
Libor Kozak could make his debut for the club this weekend against Newcastle United. Nathan Baker may also feature but Charles N’Zogbia will not feature as he continues a spell in the treatment room.
Paul Lambert has talked up the potential of new signing Kozak, suggesting the forward has a very exciting future at the club.
“Libor's confidence is really high at the minute after scoring in midweek. He has fitted in to the group really well. It will take him one or two weeks to get to know everybody but he is a really good player,” said the manager.
Another player likely to feature against Newcastle is defender Jores Okore, who has revealed the help captain Ron Vlaar has given him since he joined the club. The 21-year-old has suggested he and Vlaar can produce one of the most formidable defensive partnerships in the Premier League.
Villa boss Lambert has jumped to the defence of Gabriel Agbonlahor after the forward injured One Direction member Louis Tomlinson in a charity match last weekend. Agbonlahor was subjected to death threats over Twitter following the incident but Lambert insists it was a fair challenge.
He has also suggested the recent England snub dished out to Agbonlahor won’t bother the player and won’t affect his performances.
“To be fair to Gabby he hasn't let it bother him; he's just got on with it. You can't influence somebody to pick somebody. But for me and this football club, he's playing really well,” said Lambert.
Teenage striker Jack Grealish is reportedly close to a loan move to League One side Notts County. The Birmingham Mail has reported that the football league club want the youngster, who featured in pre-season for Villa, as support to the attacking part of their squad.
Another player who could be leaving the club is Stephen Ireland. The midfielder is currently on loan with Stoke City and has already hinted that he’s looking at a long term future at the Britannia Stadium after not being given a regular chance in the Aston Villa first team.
Marc Albrighton could also be leaving the club, with Derby County wanting the winger on loan. The midfielder made just ten first team appearances under Lambert last season, which suggests the boss sees him as dispensable.
In other news, Lambert has backed former Aston Villa boss Martin O’Neill to become the next Republic of Ireland boss. O’Neill emerged as the bookies’ favourite earlier in the week.
image: © Dagur Brynjólfsson