Aston Villa transfer news: Dean Smith could cash in on £22m talent

Aston Villa boss Dean Smith

Aston Villa could look to cash in on Wesley if his season-long loan move away pays off, according to Express & Star journalist Luke Hatfield.

What's the latest news involving Wesley?

Wesley joined Villa from Belgian side Club Brugge in the summer of 2019, costing Dean Smith's side £22million.

But, with just days of the summer transfer window remaining, the striker sealed his return to Club Brugge on a season-long loan deal.

Wesley's exit from Villa Park was confirmed having failed to make a start since New Year's Day in 2020.

The Brazilian suffered a serious knee ligament damage during Villa's clash with Burnley that day and, having initially been ruled out until the end of the season, his next first-team appearance did not come until 15 months later when he emerged as a late substitute against West Bromwich Albion.

Wesley scored six goals in 26 Villa appearances and in a recent interview with Belgian newspaper Het Nieuwsblad, via Sport Witness, he even alleged Burnley captain Ben Mee's challenge which led to the long-term injury was not accidental and he had doubts over whether he would play professionally again.

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What has Luke Hatfield said about Wesley?

Hatfield believes Villa will watch Wesley, who made his first Club Brugge appearance in more than two years last weekend, closely during his loan spell.

He reveals Smith's side may be inclined to sell the 24-year-old next summer.

Hatfield told GMS: "Having gone on loan, I think Villa will be hopeful that he can maybe come back and have an impact.

"But, in another respect, perhaps they're looking at him and saying 'if he has a good enough season, maybe we can recoup some of our money for him'.

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"Maybe that'll be the route to go down because it's been a tough spell for him in the Premier League and that injury won't have helped. It was one of the worst knee injuries Dean Smith said he'd ever seen.

"It's a real crossroads point for Wesley. If he pushes on while on loan, maybe he can come back with a bit of renewed vigour.

"But, equally, Villa may well judge the market for him and maybe allow him to leave on a permanent basis if they don't feel that he's going to be able to have too many first-team opportunities."

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Which Villa manager signed Wesley?

Does Wesley have a future at Villa Park?

Danny Ings' £25million summer arrival from Southampton makes it even more difficult for Wesley to break back into Smith's plans.

Ings has made a fine start to his Villa career and won the Premier League's Goal of the Month award for his stunning overhead kick against Newcastle United in August.

Ollie Watkins has also become a key part of Smith's squad, scoring 16 goals in 43 appearances since making the then-club record move from Brentford last year.

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