Photo by Neville Williams/Aston Villa FC via Getty Images

Johan Lange was central to the deal which saw Morgan Sanson move to the Premier League last January with some Aston Villa scouts questioning the wisdom of a £14 million switch, as reported by the Athletic. 

While Lange has certainly enjoyed more hits than misses since becoming Villa’s sporting director back in 2020 – bringing Emi Buendia, Matty Cash, Leon Bailey, Danny Ings and Bertrand Traore to Bodymoor Heath – Sanson remains a rather substantial blot on his otherwise pristine copybook. 

The Frenchman may come good of course – better players than him have taken their time to adapt to the hustle and bustle of English football – but the early signs certainly don’t look good. 

Your Club’s Player Who Newcastle ‘WILL SIGN’

Your Club’s Player Who Newcastle ‘WILL SIGN’

Niggling injuries, such as the one sustained in the recent EFL Cup defeat to Chelsea, have restricted Sanson to just three Premier League starts in the last nine months.

And even when the former Marseille play-maker was fit, it was hard to see how he would fit into Dean Smith’s midfield, lacking the ball-winning aggression of a Douglas Luiz or the running power of a John McGinn or a Jacob Ramsey. 

Will Morgan Sanson come good at Aston Villa?

According to the Athletic, some in Aston Villa’s scouting department had reservations about Sanson, providing ‘negative feedback’ when asked to compile reports on a man who had been linked with a move to England many times in recent years without anyone ever taking the plunge. 

Photo by Malcolm Couzens/Getty Images

Lange was convinced, however, believing that the chance to sign a player of Sanson’s undoubted talent for £14 million was too good to turn down. 

Just for context, Sanson had been tipped to cost somewhere in the region of £36 million less than two years earlier, when Villa’s Midland neighbours Wolverhampton Wanderers were being linked. 

And it should not be forgotten that, as recently as January, this was being labelled one of the most inspired bargain signings in recent Premier League history.

This really is a fickle old game.

When the former Montpellier schemer returns from another spell on the sidelines, he will have Emi Buendia, Ramsey, McGinn and potentially teen sensation Carney Chukwuemeka ahead of him in the pecking order. 

Photo by James Chance/Getty Images

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