Dean Smith has told Aston Villa’s official website that Matt Targett is unlikely to be involved in their first game back following the international break, while Jonathan Kodjia is also a doubt.
Targett went into the international break still awaiting the chance to make his Premier League debut for the Villans following his £17 million switch from Southampton (fee reported by The Telegraph).
His debut came in the Carabao Cup tie with Crewe towards the end of last month. Unfortunately for the left-back, he had to be taken off after 43 minutes as Villa went on to win 6-1.
And ahead of Villa’s return to action – which comes against West Ham this coming Monday – Smith suggested that Targett is expected to miss out, and Kodjia is also unlikely to be involved.
“Jonathan had trained all the way up until the Crystal Palace game. He was available but we didn’t involve him because he hadn’t had enough minutes,” he told the club’s official website.
“Unfortunately he’s picked up an innocuous head injury, which we’re assessing at the moment. We’ll see how he is.
“Targett will probably be looking at the Arsenal game. I think Monday will come too quickly for him.”
Villa fans would be forgiven for feeling quite intrigued about seeing Targett against top flight opposition. He showed promise at St Mary’s, but he has plenty to prove given the size of the fee that has taken him to Villa.
It is a large fee for a player who had struggled to force his way into Southampton’s team. Luckily, Neil Taylor’s form has taken away some of the pressure.
Taylor is likely to always have his critics and doubters. But the Wales international has made a solid start to the new season.
It looks more than likely that Targett will eventually take that starting spot. But Taylor appears determined to make Smith’s decision as tough as possible when he has both players to pick from.