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Dean Smith says Aston Villa have a 'really likeable' player who gives the whole squad a boost

Aston Villa manager Dean Smith has waxed lyrical about Wesley Moraes following his return to senior action last week.

The 24-year-old Villans striker spent nearly 16 months after suffering an anterior cruciate ligament injury in the 2-1 win against Burnley on New Year’s Day last year.

Wesley, who joined Villa for £22million in the summer of 2019, scored his side’s opening goal in the game before picking up the injury in a tackle from Ben Mee.

(Photo by Neville Williams/Aston Villa FC via Getty Images)

The Brazilian was initially expected to be out of action for nine months, but his rehabilitation has required a lengthier amount of time.

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Wesley has been on the comeback trail, playing games for the Under-23s, and in last Sunday’s draw with West Brom, came on in the latter stages of the game.

Indeed, he almost scored the winner as well, sending a well-placed header goalwards.

“It has been great to see him over the last week or two looking like an Aston Villa player again, rather than a recovering player,” Smith told Sky Sports.

“He is a really likable player, for him to come on and almost score the winner just gives him and the whole squad a boost.”

Up next for Villa is Saturday night’s Premier League trip to Everton.

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