Aston Villa

Aston Villa

Premier League • England

Familiar face completes Aston Villa winger search after Emery lays waste to another Gerrard decision

Aston Villa loanee Bertrand Traore

Aston Villa have settled on a familiar face for who’ll bolster their attacking ranks after Unai Emery prepared to reverse yet another Steven Gerrard decision, per reports.

Emery has already rowed back on one Gerrard decision in the market this month when terminating Ludwig Augustinsson’s season-long loan deal.

Emery had no use for the Swedish left-back upon signing Alex Moreno from Real Betis. As such, Augustinsson’s deal was cut short at the half-way mark and the 28-year-old has since signed on loan with Mallorca for the remainder of the campaign.

Elsewhere, Aston Villa have been on the hunt for attacking reinforcements. Even before they sold Danny Ings to West Ham, speculation was rife new forwards were the order of the day.

Indeed, a move for Udinese’s Gerard Deulofeu was heavily rumoured. However, the former Everton frontman recently suffered an ACL injury that ended his chances of returning to England.

Elsewhere, the Daily Mail reported Aston Villa were prepared to activate the £45m release clause in the contract of Athletic Bilbao’s Nico Williams.

Villa’s chase again ended in disappointment when it was made clear Williams had no intention of leaving the Basque Country. As such, Villa didn’t bother to activate the clause.

With the winger search bearing no fruit and the clock ticking down, two reports now claim Emery has looked inwards to resolve his firepower shortage.

Familiar face heading back to Villa Park

Both the Telegraph and BirminghamLive report Emery will recall Bertrand Traore from his loan spell with İstanbul Başakşehir.

The Burkina Faso international, 28, was turfed out on a season-long loan by former boss Steven Gerrard last summer.

Traore has bagged just three goals and one assist in 18 appearances in Turkey. Nonetheless, Emery has seen fit to bring the wideman back on board.

Explaining why, the Telegraph stated Emery wants to get a good look at Traore over the second half of the campaign. Doing so will in turn allow him to make a better-informed decision on whether to stick or twist on Traore in the summer.

It’s acknowledged Villa had been trying to sign a completely new winger, though the soaring prices being quoted to Premier League clubs have been ‘proving too high’ for Villa to stomach.

If Traore is the only late arrival/return at Villa Park, it means Emery will barely exit the January window better off than he started.

Moreno is an upgrade on Augustinsson, though is like-for-like. Elsewhere, ex Chicago Fire hitman Jhon Duran has replaced Danny Ings, but the 19-year-old lacks elite level experience.

Traore will bring experience when returning from Turkey, though was already on the club’s books anyway.

READ MORE: Tottenham outgun Aston Villa after lodging highest bid for left-field winger transfer