The Aston Villa centre-back joined for £12 million this past summer.

Aston Villa boss Dean Smith has singled out Ezri Konsa for praise.

The Villans slumped to a third successive Premier League defeat in losing 2-1 at Wolverhampton Wanderers on Sunday.

Smith’s pre-match plans were thrown into disarray when goalkeeper Jed Steer – already deputising for the injured Tom Heaton – came off inside 10 minutes.

In addition to Heaton, Aston Villa centre-back Bjorn Engels was absent with a hip injury, which opened the door for the rarely-seen Konsa.

The 22-year-old, a £12 million summer signing [BBC Sport], had only managed 15 minutes of Premier League football prior to going to Molineux.

But Smith, who managed him at Brentford, is delighted with the young defender’s full league debut.

He told Aston Villa’s official website: “Injuries are no excuse because we’ve got a deep enough squad. I thought Ezri Konsa, who came in for Bjorn Engels, was one of our best players today.”

It was indeed a fine first Premier League start from the young centre-back, who might’ve even overshadowed defensive partner Tyrone Mings.

There wasn’t a hint of anxiety or nerves from the Aston Villa man at all and it’ll be interesting to see if Engels can win his place back after recovering from his hip issue.

In other news, Ex-manager 'impressed' by £33k-a-week Villa man; thinks he's among best in his position