Midlands latest: New signing in-line for Villa debut, Stoke midfielder to exit for local rivals

We bring you the latest news from Aston Villa, Leicester City, Stoke City, West Bromwich Albion and Wolverhampton Wanderers.

1) Lambert hints at Joe Cole debut

Paul Lambert has hinted that Joe Cole could play some part in Aston Villa’s weekend clash with Newcastle United.

The experienced midfielder was not involved in his new side’s first game of the Premier League season – a 1-0 win against Stoke City – due a thigh injury, but he is fit now and his manager says that he is in his thinking.

“Joe comes into the equation. The one thing about Joe is he can see a pass and unlock defences,” the Villa boss said.

“We just have to make sure we keep him fit. Joe has been there, done it and worn the T-shirt."

“The lad has won everything in the game. He’s a top pro, top guy and is really intelligent.”

2) Leicester want Hugo Almeida

Leicester City have targeted Hugo Almeida, as Nigel Pearson looks to add to his squad before the transfer window closes.

The Portuguese veteran forward has emerged as a potential addition at the King Power Stadium, due to his physicality being something which Pearson likes to have up-front.

He already has the likes of David Nugent, Chris Wood and Leandro Ulloa who can play the target man role, but he reportedly feels that he needs more striking talent this summer and sees the free agent as a player who can add experience and quality to the side.

3) Palacios to move to Villa

Stoke City’s Wilson Palacios is on the verge of a move to Aston Villa, according to reports in his homeland of Honduras.

The midfield enforcer has been put up for sale by the Potters this summer, after he has slipped from first-team contention in recent times and Villa are reportedly prepared to offer him a reprieve.

Palacios already had a move to Qatar lined up earlier in the summer, but it fell through at the last minute and he will be hoping that his second prospective transfer is finalised soon.

4) Sébastien Pocognoli wasted no time making West Brom impression

West Bromwich Albion new boy Sébastien Pocognoli has wasted no time impressing the club’s supporters or management staff.

The Belgian defender made an encouraging debut performance against Sunderland, with his robust approach catching the eye of the supporters and Alan Irvine.

The West Brom boss has praised the centre-back for the ease with which he has adapted to English football and says that he will only get stronger in the future.

“He came in after everyone else had had a start and I’ve been delighted with the progress Sébastien has made,” Irvine said.

“He’s competitive. As a character he’s quiet and very respectful. He doesn’t show any aggressive streak – but he’s competitive."

“I don’t think he is someone who is going to be volatile in anyway."

“He competes well and the fans will enjoy that."

“We just need to be careful he doesn’t mistime too many tackles otherwise we won’t have him for a number of games!”

5) Kenny Jackett pleased with Wolves’ start

Kenny Jackett says that he is pleased with the way that his Wolverhampton Wanderers side have started the season.

The Wolves boss believes that his charges have simply picked up from where they left off last season, when the cruised to the League One title, and believes the settled nature of the squad has helped their transition to Championship football.

“We’ve fallen into a similar groove and style and pattern that we had last year, and that has to be expected as we made a minimum amount of changes,” Jackett said.

“In the performances that has been apparent and to some degree a continuation of last season, which we were hoping for. We want to then try to build on that and always try to improve if we can. We are pleased with our start.”

Wolves take on Cardiff at home at the weekend, where they will be hoping to build upon their midweek win against Fulham.

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