Morgan Sanson, to a degree Aston Villa’s forgotten man, has confirmed he is back in training ahead of the return to football.
The Frenchman, who has managed just 42 minutes of action in a claret and blue shirt since April, suffered another set-back in his comeback in the recent EFL Cup defeat on penalties at Chelsea.
Those 42 minutes came and passed before Sanson pulled up and required a replacement, much to the frustration of the player, Dean Smith and the supporters who have seen precious little of him in the flesh since he arrived for £14m last January.
Let it not be forgotten that Sanson arrived from Marseille, where he’d been playing Champions League football, prior to jumping ship and taking the leap to Villa Park, and there is plenty more to come from him.
Indeed amid the emergence of Jacob Ramsey and Carney Chukwuemeka, Sanson can often be overlooked when the midfield department is being scrutinised. That is inevitable at this moment, with the injuries that have ravaged Sanson’s participation since he walked through the doors of Bodymoor Heath.
Still, upon his return he could prove to be a very useful option to Smith – and that return would appear to be a little closer than previously thought. Sanson is now back in training, as he revealed via his Instagram story with a photo of himself on the pitch and the caption: “back to training.”
Sanson is a player who, in glimpses last season during his first taste of Premier League football, showed what quality he has. Brought in to complement the existing options for Smith, you could see the value in bringing a player of his calibre to the club.
“When he arrived at the club we were doing well so it was always going to be tough. Then he had a knee injury,” Smith said.
“When you miss pre-season it is difficult and he has had to work extremely hard. It is frustrating for him that he felt a twinge in his hamstring and he was frustrated straight away, but I saw him the morning after and he was back full of life again, realising it is not a substantial injury and just a twinge.
“Hopefully he will be back soon and we hope they will be back sooner rather than later because I thought Morgan was playing excellently against Chelsea.
“He had a great 40 minutes and showed 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.”
That return from the hamstring twinge is now seemingly upon us, and at a time when transfer talk intensifies ahead of the opening of the winter market, the addition from last January’s window could be back in time can remind everybody of exactly why Villa made moves to bring him to the club in the first place.