Dean Smith has told VillaTV that Leon Bailey and Morgan Sanson are recovering well from their respective injury lay-offs and believes the Aston Villa duo will be back available soon.
Bailey developed a quadriceps issue during the Villans’ 3-0 win over Everton, while Sanson injured his hamstring against Chelsea. Neither are likely to feature against Tottenham on Sunday, with Wolves’ visit to Villa Park on October 16 more realistic.
Smith looks forward to having Sanson back available after impressing the Aston Villa boss at Stamford Bridge. The Carabao Cup affair marked only the 27-year-old’s 10th game for the Birmingham outfit since a January move from Marseille.
Bailey, meanwhile, opened his Aston Villa account against Everton following a £25m move from Bayer Leverkusen in August. He also assisted on his debut against Watford and has stood out to Smith with his creative input so far.
Bailey and Sanson injury blows denying Smith and Aston Villa
However, injuries deprived Smith of utilising Bailey and Sanson in Aston Villa’s 1-0 win at Manchester United last time out. And the Villans’ boss explains a disrupted pre-season for the pair increased the chances of one or both developing issues.
“They’re recovering well, they’ve both had muscle strains,” Smith said. “Only minimal muscle strains, but we have to make sure they’re right so there’s not a re-injury. It’s been tough for both of them because both of them have missed pre-season and you’re susceptible to catching a few little injuries then because you’re playing catch up.
“But they’ll be back soon, and we’re hopeful they’re back sooner rather than later because Morgan Sanson, I thought, was playing excellently against Chelsea. Had a great 40-minutes, was showing a lot of what we haven’t seen for a while because of the injury and why we signed him. He’s a real top player and got an awful lot of Champions League appearances.
“Leon Bailey has obviously shown what he can do with a goal and a couple of assists already. I actually don’t know why he wasn’t credited with the second goal against Everton. Because if that was a shot and it got deflected in, they would have given him the goal.”
Smith yet to see Bailey at his best
Bailey’s injury blow will have been particularly frustrating for Smith and Aston Villa after dazzling against Everton. The Villans are yet to truly see the Jamaican forward at his best with each of his three outings in the Premier League so far coming from the bench.
Yet Bailey lifted the Villans’ fading spirits and the mood at Villa Park against Everton during his 21-minutes of action. Delivering a teasing corner that Lucas Digne could only glance into his own net. While blasting the ball home after a powerful run through on goal.
While Sanson’s Carabao Cup exploits at Chelsea put a smile on Smith’s face on what was his return from injury. The £16m winter arrival was positive on the pitch after five-months on the sidelines with a knee injury. The weight of his passes especially pleasing and not afraid to get stuck in defensively, either.