Paul Lambert is gearing up for another battle to keep Christian Benteke after forgiving the striker his penalty lapse at the weekend.
The Villa boss watched the 22-year-old star waste two big chances to put Villa ahead against Everton – the first from the spot kick.
But after another home defeat which removed further momentum from his team’s start, Lambert will still be more concerned about reports of renewed bids for Benteke’s services in January.
Lambert claimed a personal triumph in the summer when he persuaded Benteke to stay – and sign an improved contract – after last season’s survival-clinching top scorer had put in a transfer request.
But north London rivals Arsenal and Spurs are today back on his trail.