Aston Villa latest: youngster loaned out, Bent not a fit, injury update

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Aston Villa youngster Jordan Graham has moved to Wolverhampton Wanderers on an emergency loan until January.

The 19-year-old academy product has been on trial at Molineux, and joins the Championship club with a view to a permanent switch.

Graham was also loaned out twice last season, to Ipswich Town and Bradford City, respectively, and has represented England at Under-16s and Under-17s level.

In other loan news, Villa manager Paul Lambert has defended his decision to ship Darren Bent out on a month-long deal to Brighton & Hove Albion.

Villa have scored just six goals all season, with forwards Gabriel Agbonlahor and Andi Weimann getting three each, but Lambert still opted to send the striker to the Championship club, recalling 19-year-old Callum Robinson from Preston North End to take his place.

Nevertheless, the Scot was reluctant to suggest that Bent's days as a Premier League front man are over, telling reporters: "No, listen, I don't know. Darren wanted to go out on loan about a month ago but with Christian Benteke being suspended we had to keep him here.

"It gets Darren's career going again and that's why I loaned him to Fulham last year, to try to get him going. But Darren wanted to go himself as well.

"Christian is coming back after Saturday and I think Gabby Agbonlahor and Andi Weimann will find their feet again in terms of goalscoring.

"Charles N'Zogbia is playing pretty decently and Joe Cole is nearly fully fit. So there are certainly goals within the team, we just need to find the solutions to win games."

"I play a certain type of football and in a certain way and Gabby has been playing well up there himself, Andi can do it as well, Christian is coming back so there are three guys there that are in front of him," he continued.

"There's young Callum Robinson who's come back after doing really well at Preston so I've made the decision for that to happen.

"We just play a different way. Darren came to me a month ago saying he wanted the chance to play more games, which I agreed to do."

Speaking to the press ahead of Saturday's trip to Burnley, Lambert also rued Villa's list of absentees for the match, which includes the suspended Benteke, and the injured Ron Vlaar, Philippe Senderos, Nathan Baker, Fabian Delph and Libor Kozak.

"Everybody is the same. They are doing well but no-one will return," he said. "It's more or less the same as Monday against Southampton.

"It's Vlaar's calf, not what is was the last time. It's a strain. It's the same calf but a different part.

"Philippe has a calf problem and it's Christian's last game banned. Fabian is doing well in his rehab but is a few weeks away. Nathan will be out for longer.

"Six players out for our club is hard. If you lose six players even if you're a top club it's a big, big chunk."

With centre-backs Vlaar, Senderos and Baker all expected to be out for a few more weeks, that means the partnership of Ciaran Clark and Jores Okore from Monday's 1-1 draw with Southampton is set to continue, and Lambert is hoping for more of the same on the weekend.

"The two of them were excellent," he told the club's official website.

"If they keep that standard of football up, it gives you that problem when the other lads are fit

"It was a big, big game for Jores - personally and for the team - that he came through it. It was his first game in 14 months but you never would have thought that with the way he played.

"Ciaran was outstanding. The two were solid for us. The two of them were excellent. Now they have shown they can do it. If they keep that level it will be great."

Okore himself told the Villa site that he was delighted to return after such a long time out of the first-team picture, and has great faith in his partnership with Clark proving a successful one moving forward.

"I think we did great and had good communication on the field," he said.

"Before the game we said that we would go in and do our job, support each other and back up each other when needed.

"It's been a long time since I've played so to be back is great. It's been a long road with the injury and then the recovery.

"We have really good staff and a really good doctor to make sure we have the best opportunities to come back and recover as quickly as possible so they did a really great job with me and with a lot of other players too.

"Most importantly for me, I'm enjoying it and relishing the fact that I'm back. I'm hungry to be playing more games."

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