Ezri Konsa eyeing England call-up after signing new Aston Villa deal

Ezri Konsa set his sights on winning an England call-up and reaching Europe with Villa after signing a new deal with the club.

Aston Villa's Ezri Konsa (left) and Newcastle United's Callum Wilson
Aston Villa's Ezri Konsa (left) and Newcastle United's Callum Wilson

The 23-year-old defender yesterday became the latest member of Dean Smith’s squad to commit his future after agreeing a contract extension through to 2026.

Konsa, who joined in a £12million deal from Brentford in 2019, has enjoyed excellent campaign at the heart of a Villa defence which has kept 14 clean sheets in 28 Premier League matches.

And after signing a new deal he is now eager to push on.

Konsa said: “I set myself goals every season. This one was to play the majority of the games.

“From next season I would like to set my goal as hopefully getting a call-up for England and taking Aston Villa to Europe.”

Smith’s team, who host Fulham tomorrow, are still in with an outside chance of a gatecrashing the European spots this term and Konsa added: “Going into this season I don’t think any of us had thoughts of playing in Europe next season.

“But as the season has gone on and the amount of points we have now it is something all of the lads would like to do. If we stick together and keep doing what we have been doing, anything is possible.

“I’m really grateful the club have rewarded me with a new contract.

“It is a great feeling knowing a club really believes in you and has trust in you. Since I have got here I have been working to prove myself.

Konsa has joined central defensive partner Tyrone Mings, midfielder John McGinn and captain Jack Grealish in signing an extended deal this season.

Brazilian midfielder Douglas Luiz is another player Villa are keen to tie down for the long-term, while it is also thought the club will shortly open talks with goalkeeper Tom Heaton over a new contract.

The 35-year-old has found himself as back-up to No.1 Emiliano Martinez this season but remains a valued member of the dressing room.

Villa, meanwhile, will welcome back Grealish for tomorrow’s visit of the Cottagers. The skipper has missed the last six matches with a shin injury which also forced him to sit out the recent international break with England.

With 10 Premier League matches remaining, Smith hopes the 25-year-old’s desire to make Gareth Southgate’s squad will translate into a strong finish for both himself and Villa.

He said: “All players who are hoping to get into tournament football at the end of the season know this is their last chance to impress the managers of their respective countries.

“They have got 10 games to do that. The players understand that and know they have to go and play well. Hopefully it will be a big benefit to us.”

Grealish had been enjoying the best season of his career before being sidelined. Asked about his chances of making the squad, Smith replied: “I am fortunate I don’t have to make that decision. It will be down to Gareth.

“But in terms of Jack, I would be very surprised if he is not included. Come the end of the season when they start talking about player of the season I would fully expect Jack to be among those mentioned.

“Certainly in training this week he has been a big inspiration to the other players.”

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